Gil Barndollar

About Gil Barndollar

Senior Research Fellow

Gil Barndollar is a Senior Research Fellow at CSS and a Senior Fellow at Defense Priorities. From 2018 to 2019 he was Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, and U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, among other publications. Gil provides frequent commentary and analysis on U.S. foreign policy to national and international media and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, the BBC World Service, and the Fox Business Network.

From 2009 to 2016, Gil served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. He deployed twice to Afghanistan, as a light armored reconnaissance platoon commander and as a combat advisor with the Georgian Army. He also led a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoon during deployments to Guantanamo Bay and the Persian Gulf.

Gil holds an AB in history from Bowdoin College and MPhil and PhD degrees in history from the University of Cambridge. At CSS he is working on a book examining America’s All Volunteer Force, conscription, and future national security threats.

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“Ukraine Has the Battlefield Edge,” The Atlantic, February 13, 2023

“Will Is Still the Key Factor in War,” Defense Priorities, February 13, 2023

“Taiwan’s Military Service Extension is Just a First Step,” Nikkei Asian Review, January 6, 2023

“Biden’s National Security Strategy Ignores Limits on American Power,” Business Insider, October 25, 2022

“No, We’re Not Already in World War III,” The Hill, October 7, 2022

“What Can Russia’s Failure in Afghanistan Teach Us About Its War in Ukraine?,” The Critic, September 25, 2022

“Don’t Believe the Generals,” The Atlantic, September 2, 2022

“Back to a Backwater: Why Afghanistan Matters Little to the West,” The National Interest, August 22, 2022

With Finland and Sweden in NATO, the U.S. Can Finally Pivot to the Pacific,” Foreign Policy, July 12, 2022

“In Madrid, Biden Refuses to Choose,” Newsweek, July 8, 2022

“Russia’s War in Ukraine is Nothing Like World War II,” The Hill, May 30, 2022

“Ukraine Has a Right to Fight for Its Survival, But the US Can’t Take on Unlimited Risk to Help It Do So,” Business Insider, April 28, 2022

“Any Volunteers?,” The Point, Issue 27, Spring 2022

“The US is Pouring Weapons into Ukraine, but Biden is Right Not to Give Kyiv Everything It Wants,” Business Insider, March 29, 2022

“Putin Might Finally Be Giving the US Something It Really Wants,” Business Insider, March 4, 2022

“The United States Must Put the Navy First,” Defense News, January 31, 2022

“Are Americans Finally Tiring of War?,” Newsweek, January 27, 2022

Facing Crises Around the World, Biden Does Everything But Make a Decision,” Business Insider, January 6, 2022.

The Real Lesson of Pearl Harbor: Geography is America’s Great Advantage,” 1945, December 10, 2021. (with Patrick Porter)

AUKUS Reveals How America and Europe Are Drifting Apart,” The National Interest, September 25, 2021.

What Losing Looks Like: Afghanistan’s ‘Hardest Place,’” War on the Rocks, September 20, 2021.

Lessons from Afghanistan Symposium” Contribution, Defense Priorities, September 10, 2021.

The Myth of a Sustainable Stalemate in Afghanistan,” The Diplomat, August 20, 2021.

Will Joe Biden Really End Our Forever Wars?,” Responsible Statecraft, August 9, 2021.

Global Posture Review 2021: An Opportunity for Realism and Realignment,” Defense Priorities, July 12, 2021.

Stop Using China to Increase Our Defense Budget,” Newsweek, June 7, 2021.

Afghanistan: The U.S. Can Always Go Back,” The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2021.

US military interventions loom large 10 years after Obama attacked Libya,” NBC News THINK, March 19, 2021.

Back to tit-for-tat in the Middle East,” Spectator USA, March 10, 2021.

Biden Should Stick to Afghanistan Withdrawal Timetable,” Washington Examiner, February 11, 2021. (with Daniel Davis)

No Substitute for Strategy: What’s Wrong with ‘Defending Forward,'” The National Interest, February 3, 2021. (with Justin Logan)

NATO’s New Purpose: An Alliance Reborn to Take on China?,” The National Interest, December 15, 2020.

Now is a Good a Time as Any for the U.S. to Quit Afghanistan,” The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2020.

How a ‘Rapid Withdrawal’ from Afghanistan is Logistically Possible,” Responsible Statecraft, November 30, 2020.

Stop Saying This is a Coup,” The American Conservative, November 7, 2020.

Less Than Meets the Eye?,” The American Conservative, November/December 2020.

“U.S. Foreign Policy: Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing,” Real Clear Defense, October 21, 2020.

The Best or Worst of Both Worlds?: Russia’s Mixed Military Manpower System,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 23, 2020.

“Stationing US Troops in Poland is a Bad Idea,” The Hill, September 3, 2020.

“Grading Trump’s Foreign Policy,” Responsible Statecraft, August 27, 2020.

“Resist the Siren Song of Big Tech ‘National Champions,'” Newsweek, August 19, 2020.

“TAC Bookshelf: When Men Become Rhinoceroses,” The American Conservative, July 6, 2020.

“The US’s latest move to oust Assad from Syria may only help him dig in further,” Business Insider, June 24, 2020.

“Iraqis, not U.S. troops, must be the ones who counter Iran’s influence in Iraq,” Military Times, May 17, 2020.

“Is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a Vital Ally?” Real Clear Defense, May 6, 2020.

“After Oil Crisis, Let’s Re-evaluate Ties to Saudi Arabia,” Real Clear World, March 30, 2020. (with Sam Long)

“Kurds Betrayal,” Real Clear Defense, October 23, 2019

“The Negotiator or Bolton Lite? Reading Robert C. O’Brien,” Spectator USA, September 19, 2019

“The U.S. Doesn’t Need An Afghanistan Deal. We Just Need to Leave,” The Federalist, September 18, 2019

“4 Things Trump Should Remember As He’s Picking His Next National Security Adviser,” Business Insider, September 11, 2019

Lost Wars, Lost Victories,” The American Conservative (September/October 2019): 23-26.

“The Options for U.S. Withdrawal in Afghanistan? Either a Bad Deal or No Deal,” Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2019

“War With Iran Would Be Foolish,” Fox News, August 7, 2019

“Mayor Pete’s Shrewd Sunset Strategy,” Spectator USA, August 5, 2019

“What Is Trump’s Military Parade Actually Celebrating?,” The American Conservative, July 3, 2019

“Trump Climbs Down on Iran,” Spectator USA, June 3, 2019

Kosovo at 20,” The American Conservative (May/June 2019):  25-27

“The Marine Corps Needs Warrant Officer Pilots,” US Naval Institute Proceedings, April 22, 2019

“NATO is 70 and Past Retirement Age,” The National Interest, April 9, 2019

“A French Officer Speaks the Truth About the War in Syria,” Defense One, March 5, 2019

“Macedonia is Set to Join NATO — An Alliance That Can’t Fight,” Defense News, February 14, 2019

“Where Else Are You Going to Go?,” The American Mind, February 11, 2019

“Donald Trump Tries to Triangulate,” The National Interest, February 6, 2019

“The Pentagon Needs a Navalist as Secretary of Defense,” Defense News, January 15, 2019

“There is No Military Victory in Afghanistan,” The National Interest, January 7, 2019