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.


March 10, 2020

Michael Kofman says, "In a scenario where Russia has one airbase, a presence that is not scalable, a presence that requires access to the Bosporus for logistical support, the Russian forces are actually in a very vulnerable position."

The National Interest: "Can Turkey Defeat Russia's Army in Syria?" 

March 7, 2020

Michael Kofman writes, "The past year demonstrated that constraints on the Russian Navy remain tethered to industrial capacity, technical, and operational limitations, rather than financial resources."

Russia Military Analysis: "The Russian Navy in 2019 (Year in Review)"

February 4, 2020

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 Wants to Pack Its Enormous Typhoon-Class Submarines With 200 Cruise Missiles"

February 4, 2020

Michael Kofman writes, "The prospective decline of Russia's population is not only overstated but is also unlikely to substantially constrain Russian power or make the country less of a problem for the United States."

War on the Rocks: "Russian Demographics and Power: Does the Kremlin Have a Long Game?"

January 29, 2020

Michael Kofman writes, "The strategy was and remains damage limitation, which in part is based on layered defense, but also preemptive destruction of long range strike platforms."

Russia Military Analysis: "Russian Maritime 'A2AD': Strengths and Weaknesses"

January 25, 2020

Michael Kofman writes, "The problem is that Russia's military has always seen defense to be cost prohibitive, and therefor focused on an offensive damage limitation strategy plus functional defeat of the adversary."

Russia Military Analysis: "Russian A2/AD: It Is Not Overrated, Just Poorly Understood"

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