Michael Kofman
Senior Research Scientist


Michael Kofman serves as Director of the Russia Studies Program at CNA and as a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the Russia and the former Soviet Union, specializing in Russian armed forces, military thought, capabilities, and strategy. Previously, he served as a Program Manager and subject matter expert at National Defense University, advising senior military and government officials on issues in Russia and Eurasia. Mr. Kofman is also a Senior Editor at War on the Rocks, where he regularly authors articles on strategy, the Russian military, Russian decision-making, and related foreign policy issues. He runs a personal blog on the Russian armed forces at https://russianmilitaryanalysis.wordpress.com/

Mr. Kofman has published numerous articles on the Russian armed forces, security issues in Russia/Eurasia, and analyses for the US government. He holds an MA in International Security from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


July 14, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "The way I tend to think of AI first and foremost is it is fundamentally more of an industrial revolution-type technology."

Holding the Line: "Adversarial AI"

June 29, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "Parts of the Russian military are rotated through Ukraine in battalion tactical groups, in many ways intentionally to spread the experience, and that continues in much greater extent in Syria."

Foreign Policy Research Institute: "We Can Defense If We Want To" [7:43]

June 23, 2020

Michael Kofman and Anya Fink write, "The Russian defense establishment has developed a mature system of deterrence and a coherent escalation management strategy, integrating conventional, strategic, and nonstrategic nuclear weapons."

War on the Rocks: "Escalation Management and Nuclear Employment in Russian Military Strategy"

June 22, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "Russia simply doesn't have a diversity of countries with which to engage, and so it's essentially stuck supporting China."

Wall Street Journal: "Weary Russia Tries to Avoid Entanglement in U.S.-China Spat"

June 6, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "This is a Russian effort to shape the conversation in a critical year for arms control, counter what they see as malicious narratives about their nuclear doctrine, and position the country in terms of declaratory policy in the event New START expires."

Defense One: "Russia Puts Defensive Face on Its Nuclear Doctrine Ahead of Arms-Control Negotiations"

May 26, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "Not only could Russian air power change the military balance in Libya itself, but this could be the first step in a gradual escalation to what eventually becomes a permanent Russian military deployment in the country."

New York Times: "U.S. Accuses Russia of Sending Warplanes to Libya"

Adversary Analytics Program