Preserving the #Arctic : Our Last Frontier

Ellen Wasylina moderated a discussion in the series of interviews scheduled with Dr. Stephen Blank. This time Dr. Katarzyna Zysk joined the discussion on this very important topic.

The subject of this discussion was “Preserving the Arctic : Our Last Frontier” and took place on February 23, 16h CET/10h EST. Here is the link to the replay, available until March 16 :–mQ2sOj1orc3AMj3hHiI_l6T-juyxKFN7c3c2BdFYfO.X-i8PlrMxFoJLh9J

Here are the speakers’ bios :

Dr Katarzyna ZYSK is Professor of International Relations and Contemporary History at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), which is a part of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC) in Oslo. She has been at the IFS since 2007. Currently, she serves as Deputy Director (since 2017) and Head of the Cetnre for Security, and was Director of Research at the IFS (2017–19). Prof. Zysk was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation/Stanford University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre/ University of Oxford (2016–17). She is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Arctic Security Initiative and was a Research Fellow at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies/Strategic Research Department at the US Naval War College, where she also cooperated closely with the War Gaming Department. In 2016, she was Acting Dean of the NDUC, where she also teaches regularly.

Following her PhD on NATO enlargement (2006), Prof. Zysk’s research has focused on security, defence and strategic studies, in particular Russia’s military strategy, warfare, the Russian Navy, geopolitics and maritime security in the Arctic, as well as military change and defence innovation. Her published research has appeared in SAIS Review of International AffairsBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsJournal of Strategic Studies, Asia PolicyRUSI JournalPolitique EtrangèreInternational RelationsJane’s Navy International, and others, including in books published by Cambridge and Oxford University Presses. 

More details:

Dr. Stephen BLANK is an internationally recognized expert on Russian foreign and defense policies and international relations across the former Soviet Union.  He is also a leading expert on European and Asian security, including energy issues.  Since 2020 he has been a Senior Expert for Russia at the U.S. Institute of Peace and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute ( .  From 2013-2020 he was a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council ( ). From 1989-2013 he was a Professor of Russian National Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Blank has been Professor of National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute since 1989.  In 1998-2001 he was Douglas MacArthur Professor of Research at the War College.  

Dr. Blank has consulted for the CIA, major think tanks and foundations, chaired major international conferences in the USA and abroad In Florence, Prague, and London, and has been a commentator on foreign affairs in the media in the United States and abroad.  He has also advised major corporations on investing in Russia and is a consultant for the Gerson Lehrmann Group. He has published over 1300 articles and monographs on Soviet/Russian, U.S., Asian, and European military and foreign policies, including publishing or editing 15 books, testified frequently before Congress on Russia, China, and Central Asia for business, government, and professional think tanks here and abroad on these issues.  He has also appeared on CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, CNBC Asia, and is a regular guest on VOA.

Prior to his appointment at the Army War College in 1989 Dr. Blank was Associate Professor for Soviet Studies at the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education of Air University at Maxwell AFB.  He also held the position of 1980-86: Assistant Professor of Russian History, University of Texas, San Antonio, 1980-86, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian history, University of California, Riverside, 1979-80.  

Dr. Blank’s M.A. and Ph.D. are in Russian History from the University of Chicago. His B.A is in History from the University of Pennsylvania.