Center for the National Interest  

1025 Connecticut Ave NW  

Suite 1200  

Washington, DC 20036  

Phone: 202-887-1000  

Fax: 202-887-5222  




After the 3rd Gaza War: The Future of Israeli-Palestinian Relations

On November 19, Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki of Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies spoke about rising tensions in Jerusalem in the aftermath of the 2014 Hamas-Israel War. The scholars also discussed possible roles for the United States in the region.

A summary of the event is pending.

Vitaly Naumkin on The U.S., Russia and the Crisis in the Middle East 


On November 7, Vitaly Naumkin, Director of Russia’s Institute for Oriental Studies, led a discussion on the U.S., Russia and the Middle East. Mr. Naumkin spoke at length about the Russian perspective on ISIL, as well as the prospects of a U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal.

To read a summary of the event, click here.

Ambassador H.E. Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari on the U.S. and the Middle East


H.E. Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Qatar's Ambassador to the United States, spoke during an off-the-record dinner at the Center for the National Interest on November 5, 2014. The Ambassador discussed the regional threat posed by ISIL, the Syrian civil war, and the future of U.S.-Iran relations. 

Senator Rand Paul Speaks at Distinguished Service Award Dinner


Senator Rand Paul outlines the principles of "conservative realism" at the 2014 Center for the National Interest Distinguished Service Award Dinner.

Click here to view the remarks on YouTube. To read the text of the speech, click here. Click here to see the presentation of the award.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani

Professor Kishore Mahbubani speaks with Jacob Heilbrunn, Editor of The National Interest about China’s economy and rise to preeminence in the international system. In this video interview, Dr. Mahbubani discusses the likelihood of China’s primacy and how it will impact the U.S. role in the world.

 Click here to view the interview on YouTube. To read a summary of the interview, click here.

Dmitry Gorenburg and Keith Darden on Ukraine's Future


On October 15, Dmitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist with CNA Corporation, and Keith Darden, associate professor at American University, discuss possible outcomes of the current situation in Ukraine. Anya Schmemann, American University Associate Dean, moderated the event.

Click here to view the event on YouTube. To read a summary of the event, click here.


Andranik Migranyan on the View from Moscow


On October 9, Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Insitute for Democracy and Cooperation Presented the view from Moscow on the Ukraine Crisis. Susan Eisenhower, President of the Eisenhower Group, moderated the event.

Click here to view the event on YouTube. To read Center Executive Director Paul Saunders' comments on the event, click here.



Costs of a New Cold War: The U.S.-Russia Confrontation over Ukraine

The Center for the National Interest is pleased to announce a new report. Costs of a New Cold War assesses the possible consequences for the U.S. and Russia of a long-term confrontation. The report is edited by Paul J. Saunders with chapters by Thomas Graham, Managing Director at Kissinger Associates, Inc.; Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs; Blake Marshall, a Washington-based specialist in U.S.-Russia economic relations; and Igor Yurgens, President of the Institute of Contemporary Development.


The Center for the National Interest Launches New Online Resources on Ukraine Conflict

Washington, DC - The Center for the National Interest is pleased to announce the launch of Ukraine Watch, a clearinghouse for information, resources, analysis, commentary and reporting concerning the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  Ukraine Watch is available at For further information, please see our full press release.


Ambassador H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri on the U.S. and ASEAN 


H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, joined the Center for the National Interest for an off-the-record dinner on September 8, 2014. The Ambassador focused on the U.S. role in Asia, the rise of China and the strategic importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.



Andranik Migranyan and Nikolas Gvosdev on Russia's Policy in the Ukraine Crisis

Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, and Nikolas Gvosdev, Associate Professor at National Defense University, present different perspectives on the Ukraine crisis. Both agreed that the United States' response to the crisis has been reactive rather than planned. In order to reach any kind of negotiated resolution, the U.S. must develop a clearer strategy.

Click here to view the event on C-SPAN

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) on a War Powers Consultation Act of 2014

On  July 23rd Virginia Senator Tim Kaine spoke at the Center for the National Interest about his work with fellow Senator John McCain on a War Powers Consultation Act of 2014. He argues that if Congress is going to make the decision to go to war, then there needs to be a clear idea of what war is, guidelines for the President to follow when consulting Congress, as well as a required consensus before we send our servicemen and women into dangerous situations. General Charles G. Boyd (USAF, Ret.), Chairman of the Board, moderated the event.

Annette Heuser on U.S.-German Relationship

In a July 21 lunch discussion on US-German relations, Annette Heuser, Executive Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Washington DC and a top expert in the trans-Atlantic relationshiop, discussed how the discord caused by the recent U.S. espionage scandal in Germany will not resolve itself. 

Read the summary here

Click here to watch the event. 

Obama's Climate and Energy Policy

In a July 11 panel on climate and energy policy speakers  Jeffrey Hopkins, Vice President for Policy and Analysis at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Vaughan Turekian, Chief International Officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Samuel Thernstrom, Executive Director of the Energy Innovation Reform Project and Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest, disagreed about the likely effectiveness of the President 's Action Plan and the Obama Administration's overall energy policy strategy as a way of effectively addressing climate change. 

Read the summary here.


The Triangular Relations of Russia, China and the United States

In a July 2 lunch event at the Center, Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and  Dimitri K. Simes, President of the Center for the National Interest, discussed the United States' bilateral relations with Russia and the potential to push Russia towards a stronger relationship with China. TNI Editor Jacob Heilbrunn moderated.

Tensions in the South China Sea 

In a June 27 discussion at the Center, Abraham Denmark, Vice President of the National Bureau of Asian Research, and Dan Blumenthal, Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, evaluated deterrence and assurance strategies in dealing with expansion in the South China Sea. Harry Kazianis, Managing Editor of The National Interest magazine, moderated.

Read the summary here.

Click here to watch the event.

Ambassador H.E. Cui Tiankai on the U.S. and China

H.E. Cui Tiankai, China's Ambassador to the United States, assessed  relations between the United States and China as well as security in the Asia Pacific region in an off-the-record lunchtime event at the Center on June 20. Center Vice Chairman and former Under Secretary of Defense Dov S. Zakheim moderated.

Robert Kaplan on Instability in the Pacific

Robert Kaplan broke down the geopolitics of China's rise in a June 19 luncheon discussion at the Center. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor and correspondent for the Atlantic, also considered the roles of Japan, India, and American foreign policy on stability in Asia. General Charles G. Boyd (USAF, Ret.), the chairman of the Center's board of directors, moderated the event.

Read the summary here.

Click here to watch the event.

Click here to watch an interview with Robert Kaplan.

Europe's Elections and Politics

On June 5, 2014, Hans Stein, Director of International Political Dialogue with European Institutions and North America at the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Foundation, described the breakdown of the institutions and political parties in the recent European Union elections as well as the "clash of institutions" over the upcoming election for EU Commission President. Jacob Heilbrunn moderated the event.

Read the summary here.

Russia, Europe, China, and Energy

On June 4, at the Center for the National Interest, Edward C. Chow, Senior Fellow in Energy and National Security for Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Andreas Goldthau, Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, shared their perspectives on European energy security after the Ukraine crisis. Paul Saunders, the Center’s Executive Director, moderated the event.

Read the summary here.

Michael Lind on America's Role in the World - the End of the Washington Consensus

Michael Lind, Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, and author of "The Promise of American Nationalism" in the May-June 2014 issue of The National Interest, discussed his view of America's role in the world and called for a return to American nationalism.

The event was broadcast live on C-SPAN2.  

Read the summary here.

National Security, Resource Competition and Climate Change 

The Center for the National Interest held a workshop at Tufts University European Center in Talloires, France, from May 8 to 11, 2014 to discuss "National Security, Resource Competition and Climate Change." Thirteen participants examined topics ranging from rising sea levels to shortage of water in Asia in a successful two days gathering at the Priory. The workshop was organized and chaired by  Geoffrey Kemp, Director of the Regional Security Programs and funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation. 

Ukraine Crisis and the Future of Relations between America and Russia

During a discussion panel at the Center, Russian experts Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, and Paul Saunders, Executive Director of the Center, assessed the US-Russian confrontation over Ukraine. Center President Dimitri K. Simes moderated.

American International Leadership


Debates over state of American global leadership and the shape it should take undergird every major foreign policy discussion in the United States. The Center hosted an event - as a part of a new series for the rising generation of foreign policy leaders - on these issues featuring John Bew of King's College London, Elbridge Colby of the Center for a New American Security, and Joshua Walker of the German Marshall Fund.  Ryan Evans, the Center's assistant director, moderated.

Click here to watch the event

Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley on the Asia Pivot


As the center of gravity in the global economy moves increasingly toward the Asia-Pacific region, security-related tensions there have also grown.  As a key U.S. ally in Asia, Australia has both an important perspective and valuable contributions to make in managing these and other changes in Asia.  On April 2, Ambassador Kim Beazley discussed Australia’s views of the evolving Asia-Pacific region and assessed trends and policy responses. 

Click here to watch the event and read a summary of the event here.

John Judis on America and Israel


The issue of Israeli-American relations has been fiercely debated in recent years. New Republic senior editor John Judis’ new book, Genesis, has attracted attention for its examination of the Truman administration’s recognition of Israel in 1948. The Center hosted Judis to discuss these issues and more. TNI Editor Jacob Heilbrunn moderated.

Click here to read a summary of the event.

Russia, America, Europe and the Future of Ukraine


At this lunchtime event on the political tumult in Ukraine, two experts brought to bear their close personal experiences with the region. Ambassador Paula Dobriansky served as the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration and has dealt extensively with Ukraine as a senior official and an analyst.  Andranik Migranyan, Director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, a Russian non-profit organization in New York is an informal advisor to Russia’s Presidential Administration.  He recently returned from Moscow, where he interacted with a number of senior officials.  Richard Burt, a former Ambassador to Germany and former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, moderated the event.

Click here to read a summary of the event and here to watch the event on Youtube.

Congressman Randy Forbes on Strategy, Asia, and Military Technology


Speaking at the Center for the National Interest, Representative J. Randy Forbes declared, “I don’t want to wake up five years from now and I realize I missed a game-changer” in military technology.  Rep. Forbes also decried the lack of U.S. strategy in East Asia. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces, he is a leader on the relationship between strategy and budgetary politics.  His talk at the Center for the National Interest – moderated by Harry Kazianis, Managing Editor of The National Interest – revolved around those topics. Forbes offered a Capitol Hill-centric perspective on defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region and offered insights on how military figures and foreign policy experts could better communicate with harried policymakers and legislators.

Click here to read a summary of the event and here to watch the event on Youtube.

U.S.-Russia Relations: From Sochi to Kyiv and Beyond

As the Sochi Olympics approached, the Center assembled a prominent panel of experts to take stock of the U.S.-Russia relationship and its prospects on February 3, 2014. Speakers included Thomas Graham, Managing Director at Kissinger Associates and a former Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Russian Affairs; Bruce Hoffman, Professor and Director of the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a former U.S. government counterterrorism advisor; Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who recently spent an extended period in Ukraine conducting research; and Paul J. Saunders, Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest and a former State Department Senior Advisor. Dimitri Simes, the President and CEO of the Center, moderated the event.

A summary of the event can be read here. You can watch the video on YouTube or at C-SPAN.

John Mearsheimer on American Foreign Policy

“The United States is more secure than it has ever been in its history, yet nevertheless it is running around the globe as if there are threats everywhere,” said Professor John Mearsheimer at the Center for the National Interest.  Jacob Heilbrunn, the Editor of The National Interest, moderated this wide-ranging discussion on American power, foreign policy, and misadventures abroad. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, sought to skewer the interventionist foreign policy establishment in Washington for their desire to intervene in the conflicts and politics of nations whose fate, he claimed, did not affect American core interests.  At the same time, Mearsheimer argued that the United States will be forced to act like a great power again and be more disciplined in its strategic decisions if China rises successfully.

Read the summary here and watch the event on YouTube or C-SPAN.

The Center for the National Interest's 20th Anniversary Dinner

On January 14, the Center for the National Interest celebrated the 20th Anniversay of its founding by former President Richard Nixon.  An august audience joined us to commemorate this important landmark.  The speakers included the Center's President and CEO Dimitri K. Simes; Jacob Heilbrunn, the Editor of The National Interest; General Brent Scowcroft, a Member of the Center's Board of Directors; Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mr. Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, the Center's Chairman Emeritus; General Charles "Chuck" Boyd, the Center's new Chairman of the Board of Directors; and Senator Rand Paul.  Ambassador Richard Burt, a Member of the Center's Board of Directors, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

Please watch their remarks on our YouTube Channel here.

You can read Senator Paul's speech here.

You can read coverage of Senator Paul's speech at the Christian Science Monitor.

Ukraine, Armenia, and Russia

Four expert speakers at the Center for the National Interest agreed that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s sudden decision to withdraw from negotiations on a European Union (EU) Association Agreement was a result of miscalculations in the EU and Ukraine as well as asymmetries between the EU and Russia.

Read the event summary here.

Energy Dialogue and U.S.-Russian Relations

American and Russian participants in a day-long discussion of the U.S. domestic energy revolution broadly agreed that soaring natural gas and oil production in the United States have produced considerable benefits for the country.  Nevertheless, they differed regarding the sustainability of growing U.S. production, the degree to which other countries are likely to enjoy similar success, and the implications for global markets, geopolitics, and Russia’s future.

Read the event summary here.


  [ More At The Center ]
In this edition of The National Interest

November-December 2014


Saving Obama's Presidency

The GOP Alternative


Georgetown's Golden Age

Vindicating Adams

Big Brother Liberals

Blaming Israel First

Springtime for Neocons

Complete Table of Contents

You can subscribe to TNI for just $29.95 per year. Click here to sign up for TNI’s daily email digest.


When Sanctions Lead to War
Paul J. Saunders explains in an Op-Ed in The New York Times that similarly to 1941 when US sanctions to Imperial Japan did not prevent the outbreak of war between the two countries, so this could be the case of US (and European) sanctions on Russia to prevent Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.  

In a paper published as part of the John Hopkins University Smarter Power Working Paper Series, Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Paul J. Saunders, Executive Director of the Center for the National Interest, discuss whether and how the United States can use its new energy resources as a source of foreign policy leverage.

Russia's military bid in Iraq
Paul J. Saunders, in an article for Al Monitor, reports on the implications of the recent decision by Moscow to deliver fighter jets to Iraq to help in attacking the militants.

How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together
Dimitri K. Simes explores the possibility that foreign policy decisions by Obama and the United States may have caused Putin to see the U.S. as weak, compelling him to foster realignment.

Chechen extremists threaten Jordan
In Al Monitor, Paul J. Saunders discusses the potential sign of a threat to Jordan after King Abdullah's visit to the Chechen Republic.

The Interventionists Who Cried Wolf
In an article for The National Interest, Paul J. Saunders, discusses skepticism surrounding the actions of American Interventionists in overseas adventures.  

Russia, Qatar compete in natural gas market 
In Al Monitor, Paul J. Saunders reports on considerations by Russia and Qatar to increase their cooperation in the natural gas industry in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum - despite their deep disagreements over Syria.

Ukraine, Russia, and U.S. Foreign Policy 
Dimitri K. Simes speaks to Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest, about Ukraine's election and Obama's major foreign policy address at the commencement ceremony for West Point.  










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