Michael Kofman
Senior Research Scientist


Michael Kofman is an expert on Russia, Eurasia and Pakistan. His research focuses on security issues in Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in defense and military analysis.

Kofman has advised senior military and government officials on Russia, Eurasia and Pakistan and represented the Department of Defense on numerous occasions before foreign officials and dignitaries. In addition to his role at CNA, he is a Kennan Institute Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Kofman has published numerous articles on security issues in Eurasia, specifically Russia and Ukraine, and has appeared as a featured guest on broadcast news programs throughout the country.

Kofman holds an M.A. in Security Studies with a concentration in International Security from Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Affairs and Political Science from Northeastern University. He is fluent in Russian.


November 17, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "It sounds quite unrealistic... the project doesn't make sense given the cost of refitting an SSGN or a ship to a SSGN is often equal to the price of building an entirely new one."

The National Interest: "Russia's Monster Typhoon Submarines: Now Tricked out with 200 Cruise Missiles?"

November 14, 2019

Michael Kofman says Russia's sole aircraft-carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, "is largely a white elephant with no real mission."

The Economist: "Aircraft-Carriers Are Big, Expensive, Vulnerable—and Popular"

November 8, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "It's actually U.S. proxies attacking U.S. proxies on behalf of a U.S. ally."

The Atlantic: "The World's Worst Game of Risk Is Playing out in Syria"

October 27, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "Russian defense industry and military journals have no problem criticizing their own performance, but many media articles are plants by rival companies criticizing each other's products."

The National Interest: "Does Russia's Anti-Drone Pantsir S1 System Even Work?"

October 21, 2019

Michael Kofman says Syria is, "The principal transformative conflict for Russia today and the Russian military."

The National Interest: "Fighting in Syria Has Made Russia's Military Better"

October 12, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "Russians perceive such capabilities to be strategic, and will never casually accept this type of arsenal being brought so close to its population centers or critical infrastructure."

Stars and Stripes: "USS Porter Enters Black Sea as Navy Continues to Boost Patrols in Tense Region"

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