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.


February 8, 2019

Michael Kofman says, “While they may lack the funding, and some of the defense-industrial base, they're keeping abreast of what sort of nextgen capabilities might enter the battlefield.”

The National Interest: “The F-22 and F-35 Are Ancient History: Russia's 6th Generation Fighter Could Be Revolutionary”

February 4, 2019

Michael Kofman says, “Not only are they far faster so they are incredibly difficult to intercept, but they also have very low fly time so there’s very little warning or possibility for the defending side to do much of anything about it.”

CNN: “Putin Wants 'Supersonic' Missile After Treaty Suspension”

January 30, 2019

Michael Kofman says, “Eventually, he got a massive contract for feeding the Russian military and the Russian armed forces, which is probably where most of his money comes from.”

NPR: “'Putin's Chef' Has His Fingers In Many Pies, Critics Say”

January 30, 2019

Michael Kofman writes, “The Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) compose one of the more important instruments in the General Staff’s toolkit, serving as a rapid reaction force for local conflicts, supporting special operations, or striking behind enemy lines in a conventional war.”

Russia Military Analysis: “Rethinking the Structure and Role of Russia’s Airborne Forces”

January 23, 2019

Micahel Kofman says, “The Russian military is configured very differently from expeditionary powers like the United States.”

The Wall Street Journal: “The New Iron Curtain: Russian Missile Defense Challenges U.S. Air Power”

December 26, 2018

Michael Kofman writes, “Following the November 25th Kerch Strait naval skirmish, in which Russia seized three Ukrainian boats,  Ukrainian leadership has issued warnings of a Russian buildup near Ukraine’s borders.”

Russian Military Analysis: “Is a Russian Military Operation Against Ukraine Likely in the Near Future?”