Eliot A. Cohen, Defense One

Eliot A. Cohen

Defense One

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Past articles by Eliot:

Author Archive

Defense One provides news, analysis, and ideas about the future of national security to defense and industry leaders, innovative decision-makers, and informed citizens. → Read More

Putin’s No Chess Master

Some believe Putin has not only Ukraine, but the whole West, exactly where he wants it. A more balanced consideration is in order. → Read More

A Moment for Soul-Searching

The United States owes its Afghan allies careful scrutiny of its institutional and personal failures—without recrimination, but also without excuses. → Read More

‘How Does One Process Defeat?’

A letter to a civilian who deployed to Afghanistan. → Read More

The Brain of the Pentagon

Andrew Marshall leaves behind an American tradition of strategic thinking that will live well beyond him. → Read More

The Lesson of Saruman

Tolkien has a warning to erstwhile #NeverTrumpers who are now choosing to ally with power rather than hold to their values. → Read More

Pulling Security Clearances Is Just the Start

Another norm falls victim to Trump as he turns the power of government against his critics. → Read More

Pulling Security Clearances Is Just the Start

Pulling Security Clearances Is Just the Start By Eliot A. Cohen July 25, 2018 It will not be surprising if, in the next few weeks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that the president never had the intention of pulling the security clearances of the former director of the CIA and former director of national intelligence. With the deadpan mendacity that she has raised from a mere survival skill in this… → Read More

The Lesson of the Great War: Stay Engaged, America

A century after the guns fell silent, the United States risks replicating the errors of the past. → Read More

Neither Precise Nor Proportionate

Trump’s attack on Syria was unserious but intended to relieve emotional pressure—and in many ways, worse than doing nothing at all. → Read More

Eliot A. Cohen

Eliot A. Cohen is the director of the Strategic Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. From 2007 to 2009, he served as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He is the author of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force. → Read More

McMaster's Choice

Before he was the national-security adviser, he wrote a lacerating account of generals who failed in advising Lyndon Johnson. What will he say now that he is free to talk about Trump? → Read More

McMaster’s Choice

McMaster’s Choice By Eliot A. Cohen March 24, 2018 “They have their exits and their entrances,” wrote Shakespeare, and so it is, as we see some actors deliver frantic speeches while others leap, slide, or crawl on and off the foreign-policy stage. Rex Tillerson said farewell to the Department of State much as he entered it: clueless about government service, clueless about his department, and… → Read More

Team of Sycophants

Tillerson’s dismissal leaves the White House more than ever the conniving and dishonest court of an erratic, ill-informed, and willful monarch. → Read More

Team of Sycophants

Team of Sycophants By Eliot A. Cohen March 14, 2018 In the end, the only one surprised to discover a presidential shiv protruding from Rex Tillerson’s back was the man himself. He was abruptly dismissed from office on March 13, but some observers had seen it coming months ago. One could not even say of him what Shakespeare’s Malcolm says to King Duncan about the death of a treacherous vassal,… → Read More

Global Elites Cannot Save a World In Turmoil

Last weekend’s security conference in Munich was a stark reminder that this class has nothing of substance to offer a world in turmoil. → Read More

Global Elites Cannot Save a World In Turmoil

Global Elites Cannot Save a World In Turmoil By Eliot A. Cohen February 20, 2018 Eighty years ago in Munich, French and British politicians handed Czechoslovakia over to Adolf Hitler’s carving knife. Twenty-five years later, a German veteran of the ensuing war founded a conference in Munich that, in its own way, was designed to ensure that such a mistake would never reoccur. That veteran, Ewald… → Read More

Americans Are Rising to This Historic Moment

The commitment of ordinary citizens to democratic ideals is being tested each day—and its enduring strength is containing the damage of Trump’s presidency. → Read More

Waiting for the Bomb to Drop

There are sounds, for those who can hear them, of the preliminary and muffled drumbeats of war. → Read More

Waiting for the Bomb to Drop

Waiting for the Bomb to Drop By Eliot A. Cohen January 3, 2018 The decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem makes a war in Korea more likely. Not because there is any direct connection between the two, nor because it was a bad idea, recognizing as it did the simple fact that the western part of Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for over 70 years and will most assuredly remain so. The… → Read More