Christopher S. Chivvis

Photo of Christopher Chivvis
Senior Political Scientist
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D., Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Chris Chivvis is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he specializes in European and Eurasian security, NATO, military interventions, and deterrence issues. He is also an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced international Studies (SAIS).

The author of two academic books and several monographs and articles on U.S. foreign and defense policy, Chivvis has worked on Eurasian security and NATO-Russia issues in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. He has also held research positions at the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri) in Paris and at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, and taught graduate courses at Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and Sciences Po in Paris.

His work has appeared in Current History, International Affairs, the Journal of Contemporary History, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, Survival, the Washington Quarterly, the International Herald Tribune, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com, and other leading publications. Chivvis received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, SAIS.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins, SAIS

Previous Positions

TAPIR fellow, French Institute for International Relations (Ifri) and German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Department of European Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Recent Projects

  • Libya's Postconflict Transition
  • NATO's Libya Intervention
  • Strategy Work in the Intelligence Community
  • Alternative Futures for Strategic Challenges
  • South Caucasus Security

Selected Publications

Chivvis, Christopher S., Toppling Qaddafi, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Chivvis, Christopher S., "Libya and the Future of Liberal Intervention," Survival, 54(6), 2012

Chivvis, Christopher S., "Libya's Downward Spiral," Foreign Policy, 2012

Christopher S. Chivvis and Paul K. Davis "Establishing Security," in Paul K. Davis et al., Dilemmas of Intervention, RAND (MG-1119-OSD), 2011

Christopher S. Chivvis, "America the Ambivalent Leader," Current History, (October), 2010

Christopher S. Chivvis and Harun Dogo, "Getting Back on Track in Bosnia-Herzegovina," The Washington Quarterly, (October), 2010

Christopher S. Chivvis, The Monetary Conservative, Northern Illinois University Press, 2010

Chivvis, Christopher S., "Quelle orientation futur pour l'Otan," Politique Etrangere, (4):791-803, 2009

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Languages

French|German|Spanish

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: Christian Science Monitor; CNN; Foreign Policy; International Herald Tribune; New York Times; The National Interest; U.S. News & World Report; Washington Times

Commentary

  • Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution about the ongoing crisis in Iraq at UN headquarters in New York

    Foreign Fighters Are a Global Threat

    The threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters cannot be resolved by the United States, or any ally, working alone. It calls for broad international cooperation on law enforcement, intelligence sharing and other areas for many years to come.

    Aug 25, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves after delivering a speech at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium March 26, 2014

    What Can Obama's $1 Billion Investment in European Security Actually Buy?

    If the attention to the challenge posed by Russia dwindles as the immediate crisis in Ukraine fades out of the headlines, the problem will only get worse and more costly. A $1 billion investment will not solve the problem itself, but it's an important step in the right direction.

    Jun 9, 2014 | Foreign Policy

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomes China's President Xi Jinping before the first working session of the G20 Summit in near St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013

    Why Ukraine Crisis Has China in a Bind

    As much as China may wish to lean on Russia should Beijing find itself at odds with the United States, Xi seeks a new type of great power relationship with the United States that calls for mutual respect, no confrontation, and cooperation.

    Apr 16, 2014 | CNN

  • French sailors assigned to the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle observe an aircraft recovery cycle aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman

    The End of Freedom Fries

    As embattled French president François Hollande prepares for his state visit to Washington next week, defense cooperation is sure to be a bright spot on the agenda—especially when it comes to emerging security challenges in Africa.

    Feb 7, 2014 | The National Interest

  • Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan addresses a news conference after his release on October 10

    Libya Needs Outside Help to Avoid Perpetual War

    If steps are not taken to get control of security, there is little hope for Libya's future. Qaddafi's fateful warning that Libya would become a “Somalia on the Mediterranean” without him could come true. The investment that NATO and its partners made in toppling Qaddafi would then be almost entirely wasted.

    Oct 11, 2013 | Christian Science Monitor

  • Norway's newly elected prime minister Erna Solberg

    Could Norway Be Key to a Future Syria Strike?

    If Syrian acceptance of the Russia-backed plan that is supposed to see it give up its chemical weapons turns out to be a stalling tactic — as many believe it is — support for strikes from allies like Norway will be all the more important to the White House, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Sep 26, 2013 | CNN

  • Europeans with 'No Arms for Assad' signs

    Europe Keeps Its Options Open in Syria

    France and Britain say they are not planning any arms shipments at this time. The decision thus seems unlikely to have a significant impact on the ground in the near term, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    May 30, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report

  • obama_erdogan_walk

    Turkey and Intervention in Syria

    When President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Washington on May 16, a long list of topics will likely be on the table. The big question, however, is whether anything substantive comes from their discussions of Syria.

    May 15, 2013 | RAND.org

  • Libyans poured into the streets of Benghazi to celebrate the revolution

    Libya Needs U.S. Help for Security

    By adopting a laissez-faire policy toward security in Libya after the war, the United States and its allies who helped the Libyan rebels topple Gadhafi share in the responsibility for the country’s current predicament, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    May 13, 2013 | CNN

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Kerry and Syrian Opposition Council Chairman Mouaz al-Khatib during Kerry's 2013 Middle East visit
  • U.S. soldier provides pens to Iraqi boy

    Unlearning the Lessons of Iraq

    Trepidation about boots-on-the-ground engagement has unnecessarily forestalled even small-scale efforts to repair Libya's fractured security environment....Meanwhile, in Syria, the over-learned lessons of Iraq are taking an even more serious toll, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Mar 14, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov prior to their bilateral meeting in Berlin, Germany, February 26, 2013

    The Russia Gambit

    Unless he can convince allies like Turkey as well as skeptics like Russia that the United States is serious about altering the trajectory of the conflict, Kerry might as well skip the Syria talking points and focus on other issues.

    Feb 26, 2013 | Foreign Policy

  • Busy market day in Martyrs Square, Tripoli, January 2013

    Anxious Whispers in Tripoli

    The clock is ticking for Libya's future, writes Christopher Chivvis. Libya's government is dysfunctional, armed militias control much of the country, and the population is increasingly frustrated with the pace of postwar progress.

    Feb 18, 2013 | NYTimes.com on February 18, 2013 and in International Herald Tribune

  • streets in Tripoli decorated for the second anniversary of the revolution against Qaddafi's regime

    NATO, US Must Shore Up Libya

    A smaller-scale training mission to help the Libyan government build reliable forces that will answer to the country's elected leadership would do much to help the Libyan state get control over its own territory, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Feb 15, 2013 | Christian Science Monitor

  • General Francois Lecointre in Mali for a reconnaissance mission

    Foreign Intervention in Mali Is Libya in Reverse

    France is in Mali not just to prop up a failing state in French Africa, but because Mali was becoming a magnet for jihadis from around the world and Paris rightly feared the country could become the next Afghanistan—only much closer to Europe, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Jan 25, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report

  • A Patriot missile is launched by soldiers at McGregor Range near El Paso, Texas

    Turkey Edges Toward Seeking NATO Support in Syria Crisis

    As the crisis along the border between Syria and Turkey intensifies, Turkey appears on the brink of a formal request to the North Atlantic Council that NATO deploy Patriot missiles to help defend the border, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Nov 21, 2012 | RAND.org

  • Libyans in Zawiya celebrating one-year anniversary of anti-Qadhafi uprising

    The Challenges of Libya's Post-Qadhafi Transition

    Libya should remain in charge of its own post-conflict path, but it needs the help of external actors to succeed with its transition, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Oct 26, 2012 | U.S. News & World Report

  • Libyan children at a refugee camp hold up a sign with revolutionary slogans

    Libya and the Future of Liberal Intervention

    As a case of military intervention, Libya does not tell us much about how useful the lower-cost, lighter footprint adopted there can be under more challenging conditions, or when the objective is broader and more transformational, as was the case at the outset in Iraq and Afghanistan, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Oct 12, 2012 | RAND.org and Survival

  • a car exploding

    Libya's Downward Spiral

    Libya is neither Iraq nor Afghanistan, let alone Somalia. It has much going for it that these post-conflict cases did not, including relatively unified citizens, wealth, a neighborhood comparatively conducive to stability, and a clear victory over the former regime, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Sep 14, 2012 | Foreign Policy

  • two Libyans sitting in front of Gaddafi graffiti

    Violence in Libya Leaves Unanswered Questions

    Qaddafi is gone, but if violence spreads, it could call into question the no-footprint post-conflict model that the United States and its allies chose after last year's intervention, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Sep 12, 2012 | RAND.org

  • Women voting at the 2012 Libyan elections

    A Year After the Fall of Tripoli, Libya Still Fragile

    The countries that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi a year ago have a special obligation to ensure the new Libyan government gets all the help it needs to respond to these new threats effectively, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Aug 23, 2012 | CNN

  • What It Would Take to Intervene in Syria

    Despite the pressure to do something, a realistic military option with a prospect of having a significant positive impact on the crisis has yet to emerge with Syria, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Jul 27, 2012 | RAND.org and GlobalSecurity.org

  • Three Challenges Still Await NATO

    Three challenges still await NATO: containing fallout from France's new policy, re-opening the Pakistan supply lines, and the need for Russian cooperation, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    May 23, 2012 | RAND.org and GlobalSecurity.org

  • nato-russia-missile-defense_20120518

    NATO, Russia, and Missile Defense

    In this media conference call, RAND experts Stephen Larrabee and Christopher Chivvis discuss key issues addressed at the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, including Afghanistan and the future of a European-based missile defense system.

    May 21, 2012

  • An Open Door in Libya

    The days and weeks after a victory like this are a golden hour that set in motion either a virtuous cycle of increasing security and economic growth, or a downward spiral into insecurity, factionalism and economic chaos, write Christopher S. Chivvis and Frederic Wehrey.

    Oct 20, 2011 | CNN

  • Europe's Empty Promises

    American frustration with Europe's dwindling military capabilities is reaching new heights, as was clear in a speech by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the National Defense University on Tuesday, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Feb 24, 2010 | ForeignPolicy.com

  • The Fall of the Wall: A World Restored?

    The fall of the Berlin Wall retains its status as an epoch-making event in modern world history, even as it passes from recent into truly historical memory, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Nov 9, 2009 | CNN.com

  • Biden's Task in Eastern Europe: Reassurance

    After the decision to cancel missile defense plans in Poland and the Czech Republic, the US needs to do more than damage control to soothe ties there, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Christopher Chivvis.

    Oct 20, 2009 | The Christian Science Monitor

  • The Right Move in Europe: Improved Opportunities with NATO, Russia

    The Obama administration's decision to alter course on missile defense was the right choice. Those who claim it is a capitulation to Russia are wrong, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Sep 22, 2009 | The Washington Times

  • European Union at Cross Purposes in Kosovo

    Of all the international actors involved in Kosovo right now, the European Union has by far the most at stake. It is also in the strongest position to remedy the situation. Sadly, it is too divided over Kosovo's declaration of independence over a year ago to take effective action, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Apr 27, 2009 | GlobalSecurity.org

  • Leaving the Nest

    In the wake of President Obama's recent European trip, hopes for a rejuvenation of transatlantic security cooperation continue to rise. This means resolving some old problems and avoiding new pitfalls, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Apr 17, 2009 | The National Interest online

  • Challenges Ahead for the EU's Security and Defense Policy

    On its 10th anniversary, the European Union can look back on its Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) with some sense of accomplishment. But the next 10 years may prove more difficult, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Jan 16, 2009 | GlobalSecurity.org

  • Pro-American Yes, French Poodle No

    Pro-American Yes, French Poodle No, in International Herald Tribune on May 7, 2007.

    May 7, 2007 | International Herald Tribune

Publications