Hans Binnendijk

Photo of Hans Binnendijk
Adjunct Political Scientist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in international affairs, Tufts University; M.A.L.D., Tufts University


Hans Binnendijk is a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS and an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Until July 4, 2012, he was vice president for research at the National Defense University (NDU). He served twice as director of NDU’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and as director of NDU’s Center for Technology and National Security Policy. Binnendijk previously served on the National Security Council staff as senior director for Defense Policy and Arms Control (1999-2001) and as director for Southern Europe (1976-1977). At the State Department, he was principal deputy director of the Policy Planning Staff (1993-1994). He also served as deputy staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1980-1985). In academia, Binnendijk was director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University (1991-1993). He was deputy director and director of studies at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies and editor of Survival (1988-1991). He is the author of many articles, editorials, reports, and books on national security policy. He serves as chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Fletcher School Board and previously as chairman of the Board of Humanity in Action. He has been a senior advisor to CNAS, ACUS, CSIS, and CFR. Binnendijk has received three Distinguished Public Service Awards and a Superior Service Award for his service in the Executive Branch. He received his M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. (1972) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS


  • NATO Chiefs of Defense meet during the NATO Military Committee Conference at Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, September 28, 2018

    NATO Needs a European Level of Ambition

    As NATO finalizes its new political guidance designed to shape future military forces, it has the chance to both strengthen Europe’s commitment to burden-sharing and relieve American concern about the creation of a new European Army. Building an enhanced European capacity within NATO entails some risk, but the benefits may outweigh concerns.

    Dec 10, 2018 Defense News

  • Spanish Army soldiers run during the Silver Arrow 2017, the multinational military drills involving eleven NATO member countries in Adazi, Latvia October 29, 2017

    Deterring the Unthinkable: NATO's Role Along the Eastern Flank

    As NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to set the stage for the 2018 NATO summit, key issues will include defense burden-sharing and NATO’s role to the south in counterterrorism and refugee management. But strengthening deterrence to the East must remain the top priority for the alliance.

    Nov 7, 2017 Defense News

  • U.S. Army soldiers, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, use a rooftop as an observation post in Mosul, Iraq, March 7, 2017

    NATO's Role in Post-Caliphate Stability Operations

    Steps are needed to fill the vacuum left as the caliphate collapses, lest forces on the ground turn on each other to gain control. The answer is for NATO to act under U.S. leadership. The alternative is either chaos or Iran, backed by Russia, filling the void.

    May 2, 2017 The National Interest

  • U.S. Marines were among 4,000 soldiers from 11 NATO countries who participated in Exercise Iron Sword 16 in Lithuania

    Our NATO Partners Should Engage Trump in Brussels

    At May's NATO summit in Brussels, President Trump will be looking for a symbolic victory rather than a confrontation with 27 other national leaders. Therefore, Europe needs to create a positive outcome for him in advance.

    Feb 27, 2017 Newsweek

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 1, 2016

    Can Trump Make a Deal with Putin?

    If executed properly, President-elect Trump's diplomacy could help reverse a destabilizing downward spiral in U.S.-Russian relations and create a vision of what normal relations might entail.

    Dec 5, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.

    Time for Washington to Amp Up the Power to Coerce

    The U.S. government should start preparing systematically for the use of coercion as it does for military warfare, including analyzing options, assessing requirements and capabilities, conducting war games to refine these capabilities, and planning with allies.

    Mar 22, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • A board displays currency exchange rates on a Moscow street, December 29, 2014

    Rapprochement with Russia?

    The ruble's fragility presents an opportunity for American and European diplomats to offer Putin a deal that de-escalates the war in Ukraine, provides Russia sanctions relief, and revitalizes Moscow's economic ties with the West.

    Dec 30, 2014 The New York Times

  • U.S. President Barack Obama announcing an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, November 23, 2013

    The Power to Coerce

    Because the United States has relied so heavily on force, we tend to equate it with power. Some results can only be achieved through force, but coercion can be an effective substitute. A superpower, by definition, has many options to have its way without always needing to send troops into battle -- a smart superpower will use those options.

    Jul 10, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • People rally against the annexation of Crimea by Russia, in Odessa, Ukraine. The banner with a portrait of Putin reads: "Will not let aggressor to our house."

    Will Putin Fall Victim to One of History's Classic Blunders?

    Russia's annexation of Crimea is proving costly. If Putin thought seizing Crimea would make the rest of Eastern Europe deferential to Moscow, the opposite is occurring, as anti-Russian/pro-NATO sentiment surges throughout the region.

    Apr 15, 2014 Foreign Policy