Nikolas Gvosdev

Nikolas K. Gvosdev is the former editor of the National Interest, and a frequent foreign policy commentator in both the print and broadcast media. He is currently on the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect those of the Navy or the U.S. government. His weekly WPR column, The Realist Prism, appears every Friday.

Articles written by Nikolas Gvosdev

The Realist Prism

To Avert Decline, U.S. Must Accept Reality of Multipolarity

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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Several events in the past month, from the Iran talks to the emerging Chinese financial bloc, have raised the question of whether the U.S. has entered the first stages of its decline. Washington will need to rediscover a “multipolar mindset” in order to conduct an effective foreign policy. more

The Realist Prism

U.S. and West Should Not Count Russia’s Putin Out Just Yet

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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The crisis in Ukraine and the political situation in Russia look dramatically different when viewed through the prism of Chinese media. The appeal of the Chinese version of events could help explain why U.S. efforts to marginalize Russian President Vladimir Putin on the world stage have met with little success. more

The Realist Prism

Will GOP Senators’ Open Letter to Iran Derail Nuclear Deal?

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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On Monday, 47 GOP senators published an open letter warning Iran’s leadership of the perils faced by any deal on Tehran’s nuclear program concluded solely on the basis of U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive authority. The letter’s impact will depend on three sets of Iranian calculations. more

The Realist Prism

U.S.-Iran Deal a Gamble for Everyone, Including Netanyahu

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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If the terms of the deal on Iran’s nuclear program currently circulating in the press are accurate, it suggests the Obama administration is gambling that the time gained by a deal will work in Washington’s favor. That’s a gamble Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want the U.S. to take. more

The Realist Prism

Crises in Ukraine, Libya Confront NATO With Risk of Division

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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This past weekend, militants in Libya aligned with the so-called Islamic State brutally executed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Even as most of Europe’s attention remains focused on the east and the fighting in Ukraine, the horrific murders highlight the threat the continent faces to the south. more

The Realist Prism

Fresh Off Obama’s India Trip, China’s Xi Courts Modi

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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China has wasted no time in mounting its own charm offensive to woo India in the aftermath of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Chinese President Xi Jinping is determined to chart a new course in relations between “the dragon and the elephant.” more

The Realist Prism

India Visit Successful, but Will Obama Follow Through?

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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U.S. President Barack Obama’s just-concluded trip to New Delhi and his meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed that both leaders are interested in getting the relationship right. The question is whether Obama will now be able to turn a successful visit into sustained engagement. more

The Realist Prism

With No-Show in Paris, Obama Remains in Reactive Mode

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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The Obama administration’s failure to send a high-level representative to the Paris unity march is being described by some as a gaffe. The decision process on this issue suggests that the administration remains in reactive mode, sticking to established plans rather than adapting to new circumstances. more

The Realist Prism

For Obama, It’s Now or Never to Define His Legacy

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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As he returns from his holiday and prepares for his last two years in office, U.S. President Barack Obama must look for signature “legacy” issues that will help to define his administration, while also assessing which questions can be delayed or postponed for the next president to deal with. more

The Realist Prism

Obama’s Unpredictable 2014 Leaves Few Clues for 2015

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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U.S. foreign policy in 2014 has undergone several tectonic shifts, in a seemingly haphazard and unplanned fashion. As we prepare to welcome 2015, the U.S. is dealing with a new Cold War and a new crisis in Iraq. How does this fit with what Obama wants to accomplish in his last two years in office? more