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.


December 17, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "The reason they want the map [of undersea internet cables] is so that in future conflicts or crises they actually have the opportunity if they can to attack it, destroy it, or otherwise tamper."

CNN: "Russian Spy Ship Sails Recklessly off U.S."

December 16, 2019

Michael Kofman writes, "Today, when taken together, spending by Russia and China is roughly equal to U.S. defense expenditure, with Russia representing a much larger share than previously recognized."

War on the Rocks: "Why Russian Military Expenditure Is Much Higher Than Commonly Understood (As Is China's)"

December 7, 2019

Michael Kofman says, "It wouldn't make much sense to expect that Zelensky and Putin are going to walk out of the talks [and] one person is going to substantially give in to the other."

Los Angeles Times: "Zelensky, Dragged into Trump Impeachment Drama, Faces a Tougher Challenge: Putin"

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"

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