Christopher Steinitz
Research Scientist


Chris Steinitz focuses on adversary analytics and strategic and operational naval issues. A Middle East specialist and Arabic linguist by training, he has applied his expertise to a wide range of studies and reach-back support efforts dealing with the Arab world and the Greater Middle East and has contributed to numerous CNA studies of the strategic, political-military and social affairs of the region. He has applied a variety of methodologies to study the decision-making and strategic calculus of adversaries such as jihadist groups, North Korea and Iran. As a naval analyst, he has examined international engagement, maritime security, maritime infrastructure protection, allied and coalition capabilities, mine warfare and carrier strike group operations. 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.

Prior to joining CNA, he served as an Islamic Affairs Instructor at the Terrorism Research Center and an Arabic Media Analyst at the Department of State.

Steinitz holds an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from LaSalle University. He has a Certificate in Advanced Proficiency in Arabic from Georgetown and conducted research on democratization and women's political rights in Kuwait with funding from a Fulbright Research Grant.


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")