Christopher Steinitz
Research Scientist


Chris Steinitz directs the North Korea program at CNA, focusing on North Korean leadership, strategic calculus, and military operations. He has conducted and contributed to studies of North Korea's strategic calculus, the role of nuclear weapons in North Korea's evolving national strategy, Kim Jong-un's use of provocations, and deterring and dissuading North Korean aggression in the maritime domain. Beyond North Korea, his work has focused on maritime Southeast Asia, the Arab World, maritime domain awareness, multinational interoperability, and coalition-building. He has provided operational analysis afloat to the John C. Stennis Strike Group and has supported the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise at NAVCENT. He also tracks global maritime trends and contributes to CNA's wargame development team.

Steinitz holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from LaSalle University.


February 6, 2019

Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz say, "Kim Jong-un has to think strategically for his long term survival and that of his family's regime. He cannot settle for tactical wins for short term gains."

The National Interest: "North Korea and America's Second Summit: Here's What Ken Gause and Chris Steinitz Think Will Happen"

September 24, 2018

Christopher Steinitz writes, “The foremost reason that we should consider a peace declaration is that there is no utility in perpetuating the 1953 armistice.”

The Hill: “How and When to End the Korean War”

July 5, 2018

Christopher Steinitz writes, “The Trump administration released more details this week of how it plans to slap sanctions back on Iran. It is an ambitious and aggressive policy to change Iran’s behavior, but it is premised on faulty assumptions, and ultimately may be counterproductive.”

The Hill: “Why New U.S. Sanctions on Iran Won’t Work — and Might Backfire”

June 13, 2018

Christopher Steinitz writes, "Rather than mandating a precise road to denuclearization, the Singapore statement, in conjunction with Trump's remarks, emphasizes a resetting of the U.S.-North Korea relationship through a process of building confidence."

The Hill: "The Trump-Kim Summit Advances a Unique Rapprochement"

November 29, 2017

Christopher Steinitz says that senior officials in Pyongyang, "have fully embraced brinkmanship to ensure their survival. It's very high-stakes, but they see it as less risky than the other option, which is trust."

Washington Post: "Launch of New Missile Increases Pressure on U.S. Policymakers to Confront North Korean Threat"

July 5, 2017

The Washington Post quotes CNA analyst Chris Steinitz in “North Korea Missile Launch Marks a Direct Challenge to the Trump Administration” (also carried by The Washington Post's PowerPost in "The Daily 202: Missile Test Underscores the Failure of Trump's Naive Approach to North Korea")