Mackinder Forum Seminar #52: Colonel Jeff McCausland, PHD (US Army, ret.), “What does Putin want?  Why is he doing it now?”  

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Mackinder Forum Seminar #52 was held on Sunday, March 20, 2022, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m, Eastern Daylight Savings Time, US.  Our speaker, Jeff McCausland, PHD, Colonel, US Army (ret.), addressed the questions “What does Putin want?  Why is he doing it now?”  

Biography: Dr. Jeff McCausland is a Visiting Professor at Dickinson College and former Minerva Chairholder, US Army War College.  He is a retired Colonel, holds a PhD from the Fletcher School, and is a West Point graduate.  Military assignments include the Army Staff; battalion command during the Gulf War; Dean of the Army War College; and Director for Arms Control, NSC Staff, the White House.  He has served as a Professor of Leadership at the Naval Academy and Visiting Professor at the Penn State Graduate School of International Affairs.  He is also a national security consultant for CBS radio/television and published/lectured broadly both in the US and in numerous foreign countries on national security affairs. In 2020 he published a book, Battle Tested! Leadership Lessons for 21st Century Leaders.

Abstract:  Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has plunged Europe into the greatest armed conflict since World War II and threatens to be the greatest nuclear crisis since Cuba in 1962.  During this seminar we will explore what motivated Vladimir Putin to make the decision to invade Ukraine.  We will consider the historical underpinnings of his decision as well as the demographic, economic, and energy factors.  We conclude our presentation with a discussion of the implications of this war for global security and stability.


Eliot A. Cohen, “The Strategy that can Defeat Putin,” The Atlantic, March 7, 2022.

Ivo H. Daalder, “The Return of Containment,” Foreign Affairs, March 1, 2022.

The War in Ukraine is Going to Change Geopolitics Profoundly,” The Economist, March 5, 2022.

Natalie Musumeci, “Ukraine Revealed Secret Battle Plans Left Behind by Russian Troops…” Business Insider, March 2, 2022.

Ross Douthat, “They Predicted the Ukraine War…” New York Times, March 9, 2022.