Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College, and serves as Senior Fellow, U.S. Global Engagement Program.

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Nikolas Gvosdev's Latest Posts

How Will the Biden Administration Adjudicate a Clash of Values?

| December 2020

Simplistic assessments of U.S. foreign policy like to paint the policy divide BETWEEN values and interests. The reality is that policy often must choose between different and competing values. Last month, we noted the “ethical tensions” emerging between different camps that will most likely comprise the Biden/Harris administration’s national security team. Writing in Politico, Nahal […]

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Competing Ethics in the Biden Administration?

| November 2020

Writing in The Atlantic, Thomas Wright outlines three broad “camps” vying for influence over the foreign policy and national security policies of the Biden/Harris administration. There are the “restorationists”–the same term used by the Carnegie Council report for those who seek to return U.S. foreign policy to its broad, pre-2016 parameters; there are the reformers […]

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Are the Narratives Going to Matter?

| November 2020

A month ago, on The Doorstep podcast, Nahal Toosi, who is Politico’s foreign affairs reporter, discussed the competing narratives and policy preferences within the “big tent” of the Democratic Party and how, in the event that the Biden/Harris ticket prevailed in the presidential contest, all of this might play out. She observed, former U.S. officials […]

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Senator Menendez and the Narratives

| October 2020

Today, Senator Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, unveiled a comprehensive report prepared by the Democratic staff of the committee, The Cost of Trump’s Foreign Policy: Damages and Consequences for U.S. and Global Security. As the Senator noted in his letter of transmittal, he “directed members of my staff, Lowell […]

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Is Great Power Competition Ethical?

| October 2020

In the aftermath of Ali Wyne’s presentation on great power competition, I have had some people who have asked why the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs would focus on such a subject. After all, rivalry among major powers does not seem to be a template for ethical behavior, and runs the risk of […]

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Searching for a Post-Pandemic Order

| September 2020

The Carnegie Council’s U.S. Global Engagement program held a fascinating and provocative discussion with Ali Wyne of the Atlantic Council, looking at the question of the relevance the narrative of great power competition among U.S. voters.  Something that Ali said in that conversation has continued to resonate with me. In discussing great power competition, he […]

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Will Consumers Pay More To Not Source from China?

| September 2020

Retailer H&M will stop relying on Chinese garment factories and suppliers located in Xinjiang, over concerns about the use of Uyghers as forced labor. The company will also end relationships with suppliers elsewhere in China that utilize forced labor or inputs from Xinjiang. It is not immediately clear if this will add costs to the […]

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Ecological Dimension of Foreign Policy

| September 2020

One of the emerging narratives about U.S. foreign policy is the use of climate change as the central organizing principle. Based on the assessment that environmental security engenders national security, this approach prioritizes efforts to project influence through solving or mitigating environmental problems–to make the U.S. safer from climate-enhanced threats, to build up a new […]

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