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Speakers

Kristin Ven Bruusgaard, PhD, is a Postdoc/Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at University of Oslo, where she is part of the Oslo Nuclear Project. Previously she was a Nuclear Security Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and before that, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies and a defence analyst in the Norwegian Armed Forces. Her research covers Russian nuclear strategy, military doctrine, deterrence and crisis stability in Europe. Her publications include “Russian nuclear strategy and conventional inferiority (2020) in Journal of Strategic Studies", Russia killed arms control. Why does it want to keep New START” (2020) in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “The myth of Russia’s lowered nuclear threshold” (2017) in War on the Rocks, and “Russian Strategic Deterrence” (2016) in Survival.  

Arash Heydarian Pashakhanlou, is an Associate Professor in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University. His work has appeared in the journals International Relations, Defence Studies, International Politics, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of International Political Theory and Cooperation & Conflict, among others. Palgrave published his latest monograph Realism and Fear in International Relations: Morgenthau, Waltz and Mearsheimer Reconsidered.

Anya Loukianova Fink, PhD, is a research analyst in the Russia Studies Program at CNA and a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland. Previously she was a fellow in nuclear security policy in the U.S Senate. Fink’s research focuses on Russian strategy and nuclear issues. Her latest publications include CNA reports on Russian approaches to escalation management, co-authored with Michael Kofman, and a chapter on Russia’s perception of the 2030 strategic balance in Brad Roberts, ed., Fit for Purpose? The U.S. Strategic Posture in 2030 and Beyond (Lawrence Livermore National Lab, 2020).

DScMil, Lt Col (ret.), Pentti Forsström is a member of the Russia group and a Senior Researcher at the National Defence University. He has a General Staff Officer’s Degree from year 1997 and he served in the Finnish Defence Forces till 2017.  Forsström’s military experience includes several positions in Military Intelligence and Strategic Research in Finland and five years abroad. In 2009 he graduated from the General Staff Academy of the Russian Armed Forces. During the last two years in active military service he finalized his doctoral dissertation on the development of Russian military strategy. In 2019 he was appointed as a senior researcher in the Russian Art of War Team.  His current research interest focuses on Russian Military in general and the Art of War.

Edward Geist, PhD, is a Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. Geist’s research interests include Russia, nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence and civil defense. His latest publications include Armageddon Insurance: Civil Defense in United the States and Soviet Union, 1945–1991 (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) and RAND publication Exploring the Role Nuclear Weapons Could Play in Deterring Russian Threats to the Baltic States (2019).

Lester W. Grau, PhD, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.), is a Senior Analyst for the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO). Grau has served the U.S. Army for 52 years and his military experience includes, for instance, service in Vietnam War and later teaching and research. Grau’s research focuses on tactical, operational and geopolitical subjects and Russian military. His latest publications include: Russian Engineer Reconnaissance in Icy River-crossing Conditions, published by Engineer January-April 2020; Activities of the Russian Ground-Based Contingent in Syria, Russia’s War in Syria: Assessing Russian Military Capabilities and Lessons Learned, co-authored with Charles Bartles, Foreign Policy Research Institute, September 2020 ; The Russians Train for Arctic Riverine Operations, published by Marine Corps Gazette November 2019.

Michael Kofman, is a Director of the Russian Studies Program at CNA and a Kennan Institute Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Previously he served at National Defence University as Program Manager. Kofman’s research focuses on security issues in Russia and Eurasia, and he has published numerous articles on the Russian military, Russian strategy, doctrine, combat operations, and security issues in Russia and Eurasia. “The Ogarkov Reforms: The Soviet Inheritance Behind Russia’s Military Transformation”, CCW Russia Brief 2019: 5, p. 10–12 is one of his latest publications.

Gudrun Persson, PhD, is a Deputy Research Director at FOI and associate professor at the Department of Slavic Studies in Stockholm University. She holds PhD from London School of Economics. Persson’s research focuses in Russian foreign policy and Russian military strategic thought. Among her latest publications are “Russian thoughts on hybrid war and colour revolutions”, Russian Studies Series 1/20, Nato Defense College (2020), and "Conflicts and contradictions: Military relations in the post-Soviet space” in Moshes, Arkady and Racz, Andras (eds) What has remained of the USSR – Exploring the erosion of the post-Soviet space (FIIA, Helsinki 2019). She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.

Daivis Petraitis, a Chief Adviser in the International Relations and Operations Group at the Ministry of Defense of Lithuania. He started his service in Lithuanian Armed Forces in civil defense and rescue forces back in nineties. His last military assignments were a deputy NMR at SHAPE and a chief of Information analysis (J2) Defense Staff of Lithuanian MOD. After his retirement he works in the MOD in a field of international affairs mostly dealing with non NATO, non EU countries and Arms control issues.  Petraitis holds a master’s degree in International Security and Economic policy. He’s research focuses on Russian military, defense and security issues. “Russian mission-command in VOSTOK strategic exercises” in Defense & Security Analysis 2019 35(1) and “The Anatomy of Zapad-2017: Certain Features of Russian Military Planning” in Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review 2018 16(1) are examples of Petraitis’ latest publications. 

Clint Reach is a policy analyst at RAND. Reach holds Master’s degree in Political Science from Kansas State University and Master’s degree in Russian and Eurasian studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Reach’s research focuses on security and Russian military issues. Previously he has served for nine years as a Russian linguist in the U.S. Navy and in various positions at the Department of Defence. Reach’s latest publications include Russian Assessments and Application of the Correlation of Forces and Means (Reach, Kilambi, Cozad, 2020), Alternative Worldviews: Understanding Potential Trajectories of Great-Power Ideological Competition (Watts, et al., 2020), and Russia, NATO, and Black Sea Security (Flanagan, et al., 2020).

Stephan De Spiegeleire has worked as a defense and security analyst at the RAND Corporation for nearly 10 years, interrupted by 3-year stints at SWP (Germany) and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies (France). Since 2004 he has been working in the Netherlands, currently as Principal Scientist at HCSS and Senior Advisor Defense and Security at TNO. Stephan also teaches at Webster University and lectures at military academies across the world. He is furthermore a Non-Resident Scholar at Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. Stephan’s main research area is international defense and security planning, with a special focus on security foresight, risk assessment, (comprehensive) capabilities-based planning, strategic balance of investment, performance management, human-centred defense design. He is co-PI of two large multi-year research programs funded by the US DoD and the Carnegie Corporation of New York that try to bring data science to the analysis of Russia's foreign, security and defense policy.
Recent publications/books include Assessing Russian Assertiveness - Letting the Data Speak. (2020), Reimagining Deterrence: Towards Strategic (Dis)Suasion Design (2020), Implementing Defence Policy: A Benchmark-‘Lite.(2019), Things May Not Be as They Seem. Geodynamics in the International System (2018), Playing to Your Strengths: A Different Perspective on Future Capabilities for the Royal Netherlands Army (2018).
 

Rod Thornton, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and he teaches at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. Previously Thornton served in the British Army for nine years in an infantry regiment. His research focuses on international security issues, developments in the Russian military and Russian security structures. Thornton’s latest publications include Towards the ‘Third Revolution in Military Affairs’: The Russian military’s use of AI-enhanced cyber warfare, in RUSI Journal (2020), Deterring Russian cyber warfare: the practical, legal and ethical constraints faced by the United Kingdom in Journal of Cyber Policy (2019) and “Countering Prompt Global Strike: The Russian Military Presence in Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean and Its Strategic Deterrence Role” in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies 2019 32(1).