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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

Prof. Elliott A. Cohen, Director, Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Ukraine - a Year Later

Thursday February 09,2023

It has been almost a year since Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine. Yet, as The Economist writes, “Nobody can say when (it) will end – or how.”

Why were we surprised by the turns the war has taken? What are its likely long-term consequences and implications in Europe and beyond?  Will the coalition supporting Ukraine hold together, or will domestic pressures weaken the West’s commitment?

Our February speaker brings a combination of senior diplomatic experience and strategy scholarship which should let him provide informed insights, if not answers, regarding one of the conflicts that may shape the upcoming decades of foreign relations.

Eliot A. Cohen is Robert E. Osgood Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the founding director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies there, also the Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and its former Dean.

In 1985 he became a member of the Strategy Department of the United States Naval War College. In February 1990 he joined the Policy Planning Staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  From April 2007 through January 2009, he served as Counselor of the State Department, advising the Secretary on Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia, as well as general strategic issues.

He has served as a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board and the National Security Advisory Panel of the National Intelligence Council, the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Committee on Studies of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a member of the Advisory Board of the Niskanen Center, and is a Presidential Counselor at the National World War II Museum.

Dr. Cohen is the author of The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force (2017), among many other publications. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic where his writings appear regularly and has written frequently for Foreign Affairs and other scholarly and policy journals. His current book project, Rough Magic: Shakespeare on Getting, Using, and Losing Power is under contract to Basic Books.

A 1977 graduate of Harvard College, he received his PhD there in political science in 1982.  In 1982 he was commissioned as a military intelligence officer in the United States Army Reserve.


Save The Date - Thursday, March 9th

Amb. Stephen Mull

U Va Vice Provost for Global Affairs and

Former Acting Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

“The Problem of Iran for U.S. Interests

Meal A: Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Meal B: Garlic Shrimp
Meal C: Vegetarian Vol au Vent