International Security | Wilson Center

International Security

Can a Russian-Designed Peace Hold?

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The first major ceasefire in the five-year old war in Syria was in its third day on Monday morning. The U.S.-Russian deal for a cessation of hostilities that was announced early last week and came into effect on Saturday has not stopped the violence entirely, but major combating sides appeared to be holding off.

U.S. Relations with Central Europe: Love and Reason

17th Annual Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture 


Ambassador Rastislav Káčer
Slovak Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador Káčer is superbly qualified to comment on U.S. relations with Central Europe given his key role in negotiating Slovakia’s entry into NATO, his expertise on Transatlantic defense and security issues and his experience as Slovak Ambassador to Hungary.

A Clash of Foreign Policies

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The war raging in Syria involves not just numerous fighting sides, both state and non-state, but also rival political strategies. The foreign policies of Moscow and Washington had been headed for collision for quite a while, and they finally met in Syria. The clash between them is proving fateful for the region and for all the players involved.

Entry Is One Ruble, Exit Is Two

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The troika gathered at a polished table surrounded by the insignia of the Russian state and made their pronouncements reluctantly, as if caught in the middle of an absorbing card game. All three looked baffled at themselves during the entire 10-minute news segment devoted to Moscow’s surprise move to withdraw the bulk of Russian forces from Syria.

Unpredictability: Tactical Virtue Turned Strategy

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The Spy Who Couldn't Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets

The thrilling, true-life account of the FBI’s hunt for the ingenious traitor Brian Regan—known as the Spy Who Couldn’t Spell.
Before Edward Snowden’s infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell.

War Fever

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Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States.  “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”

“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”

The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”

Making Peace with the West, One Country at a Time

Russia has taken a number of cautious steps aimed at normalizing its relationship with the West; both Moscow and Washington seem to be ready for  military cooperation in Syria; Moscow and Ankara are busy patching up their relationship; and Moscow and Helsinki have just discussed mutual security. One important feature of these recent hints at normalization in Russia-West relations is that Russia is emphasizing its dialogue with specific countries, not with blocs like the European Union or NATO.

Transatlantic Perspectives in Fighting Violent Extremism: Challenges and Strategies

The 3rd Annual Swiss Day marks the ongoing collaboration between the Wilson Center and the Europa Institut at the University of Zurich.

Preventing violent extremism is one of the key challenges facing today’s policymakers. The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2014, represents an innovative public-private partnership approach aimed at strengthening the resilience of local communities against violent extremist agendas.

It’s the Security, Stupid

Vladimir Putin is both feared and admired for his signature move of creating suspense that keeps everybody on their toes. He knows how to make sure his next move is unpredictable. And yet, he is one of the most consistent political actors we know.

Whenever he feels things are not going his way, he jumps at the security issue closest at hand and makes it his next showstopper.