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FSI scholars offer expert analysis and commentary on contemporary global issues.

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FSI Director Michael McFaul introduces President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a live video address on May 27, 2022.

FSI Director Michael McFaul Honored by the Government of Ukraine with State Award

In a show of appreciation for his support of Ukraine, Michael McFaul was awarded an Order of Merit by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reflections on Mikhail Gorbachev's Life from FSI Scholars

Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Pifer, Francis Fukuyama, and Michael McFaul discuss the complex life and legacy of the last leader of the Soviet Union.
Chinese soldier in Beijing

Assessing China’s Conventional and Unconventional Challenges to U.S. National Security

Oriana Skylar Mastro offers guidance on how to identify and understand the various strategic threats presented by the still-rising superpower.

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Rose Gottemoeller
Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee

News / September 20, 2022
Rose Gottemoeller's main takeaways from her opening statement while testifying before the SASC
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Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukraine made recent battlefield gains. How will Putin retaliate?

Commentary / September 19, 2022
Ukraine's battlefield victories are a reason for celebration. But could it could also usher in another dangerous phase — with Russia's President Vladimir Putin lashing out in other ways.
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President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Reflections on Mikhail Gorbachev's Life from FSI Scholars

News / September 2, 2022
Rose Gottemoeller, Steven Pifer, Francis Fukuyama, and Michael McFaul discuss the complex life and legacy of the last leader of the Soviet Union.
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Gorbachev & Reagan

Memories of Mikhail Gorbachev - and a unique time in Russian history

Commentary / September 1, 2022
So many wonderful things have been said of Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev in recent days that I am loath simply to repeat them. Instead, I have reached back for my own memories, those that brought home to me his unique place in Russian history.
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Nuclear weapon test Bravo (yield 15 Mt) on Bikini Atoll

A current security imperative: the US role in the Marshall Islands

Commentary / May 25, 2022
Rose Gottemoeller, former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, remembers the painful history of Castle Bravo—the largest and most catastrophic US nuclear weapons test conducted in the Marshall Islands during the Cold War—and urges the United States to finish the compact extension with the three island nations to contain China’s growing influence in the Pacific.
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Title page for Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

Everything Counts: Building a Control Regime for Nonstrategic Nuclear Warheads in Europe

News / May 11, 2022
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration insisted in arms control talks with Russia that a follow-on agreement to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) should cover all nuclear weapons and that such an agreement should focus on the nuclear warheads themselves.
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Some of the original Ukrainian alumni from the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship gather in Kyiv in 2013.

A History of Unity: A Look at FSI’s Special Relationship with Ukraine

News / April 4, 2022
Since 2005, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies has cultivated rich academic ties and friendships with Ukrainian scholars and civic leaders as part of our mission to support democracy and development domestically and abroad.
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Woman smiling

Long in the Making: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Q&As / March 18, 2022
A week before Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, unleashing the biggest military operation in Europe since World War II, three experts on Russia were interviewed on Zoom and email by Carol Giacomo, chief editor of Arms Control Today, about the origins of the crisis and what an eventual solution might involve.
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CISAC Scholars Martha Crenshaw, Rose Gottemoeller, Norman Naimark, Megan Palmer; photos courtesy CISAC

Introduction to Issues in International Security

News / March 15, 2022
A new video curriculum series is released.
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Two woman in video call

International Security and Cooperation on the 60th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Q&As / March 10, 2022
The Cuban Missile Crisis dealt not only the United States and the Soviet Union, but other countries around the world, what I call a short, sharp shock. We recognized how devastating would be the effect of nuclear war, and we decided we really did need to talk together about how we were going to control and limit those risks.
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Four people in four separate screens

Ukraine Under Siege: What's Next

Commentary / March 4, 2022
As Russian forces advance into Ukraine from the north, south and east and lay siege to Kyiv and other major cities, join The Commonwealth Club for an in-depth briefing on the current situation and what may happen in the coming days or weeks.
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Vladimir Putin

What’s eating Putin?

Commentary / March 3, 2022
As horrific and needless violence unfolds in Ukraine, my friends, family, colleagues, and media from around the world have all been asking the same questions: What’s eating Putin? What has driven him to start the largest war in Europe since World War II? My answer has been: It’s complicated. And, as I see it, at least eight different factors account for Putin’s erratic and dangerous behavior.
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map of ukraine

What is Going On Inside Vladimir Putin's Head? 12 Experts Weigh In

Commentary / March 2, 2022
Russian president Vladimir Putin is keeping the world guessing as western intelligence says the invasion he ordered of Ukraine has not been as successful or as swift as he had hoped.
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rocket launched over the ocean

The Standstill Conundrum: The Advent of Second-Strike Vulnerability and Options to Address It

Commentary / October 18, 2021
Emerging and disruptive technologies spell an uncertain future for second-strike retaliatory forces. New sensors and big data analysis may render mobile missiles and submarines vulnerable to detection. I call this development the “standstill conundrum”: States will no longer be able to assure a nuclear response should they be hit by a nuclear first strike.
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Image of Rose Gottemoeller sitting in front of the U.S. flag

Negotiating the New START Treaty by Rose Gottemoeller wins the Douglas Dillon Book Award.

News / October 4, 2021
In clear, jargon-free prose, leavened with humor, Gottemoeller conveys both the facts and the flavor of an intense, high-stakes negotiation. The book is a highly enjoyable as well as useful master class in American diplomacy at its best.
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Joe Biden speaks during an event in the White House September 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden announced a new national security initiative in partnership with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

A Better Australia Sub Deal

Commentary / September 21, 2021
The Australian-British-U.S. submarine deal may be a brilliant stroke, but it was done without strategic imagination.
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china's nuclear ballistics

China's nuclear build-up: The great distraction

Commentary / September 13, 2021
President Biden is reviewing America’s nuclear posture. By January, we should know what he thinks about U.S. nuclear weapons, what policies should govern them and how many we need. Congress is watching closely; senators and representatives always do. But this year will be different. A new player has entered the field — China.
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China flag and rocket in military conflict

China's nuclear build-up

Commentary / September 13, 2021
The great distraction
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Airbus Defence and Space Imagery shows the new underground construction area southwest of the main Natanz nuclear complex.

A class project shines new light on an Iranian nuclear facility

News / August 12, 2021
Two women use machine learning and satellite images to analyze activity from afar
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Woman smiling

The Future of Arms Control, With Rose Gottemoeller

Q&As / August 3, 2021
Rose Gottemoeller, former deputy secretary general of NATO and Payne distinguished lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and its Center for International Security and Cooperation, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the efforts to regulate, if not eliminate, nuclear weapons.
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Woman smiling

Biden and Putin both place a ‘high priority’ on cybersecurity, says presidential adviser after Geneva summit

Commentary / June 16, 2021
Despite tensions in the summit lead-up, the two leaders were overly cordial in their remarks after the meeting. Rose Gottemoeller, lead US negotiator for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), joined The World's host Marco Werman to offer insight.
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Women in glasses and a striped red shirt

Biden Goes to Europe | Inside America with Ghida Fakhry

Commentary / June 16, 2021
As European leaders welcome Biden back into the club, can they count on the US to be a long-term ally? Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller discusses Western democracies and rising autocratic governments resonate with his European counterparts.
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View outside airplane window

Reimagining the Open Skies Treaty: cooperative aerial monitoring

Commentary / June 15, 2021
From the moment, President Biden and President Putin extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in February, they created hope that although the US-Russian relationship is in dire shape, our two countries can continue to work together to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.
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Flags of the United States and Russia

Stanford Experts Weigh In on What to Expect at the Biden-Putin Summit

News / June 14, 2021
Scholars at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies hope that President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will lay the groundwork for negotiations in the near future, particularly around nuclear weapons.
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Rose Gottemoeller listens during a press conference on Capitol Hill about the New START Treaty.

Negotiating with Russia and the Art of the Nuclear Arms Deal

News / June 9, 2021
Rose Gottemoeller discusses “Negotiating the New START Treaty,” her new book detailing how she negotiated a 30 percent reduction in U.S.-Russia strategic nuclear warheads.
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