July 16, 20-21: It seems that Putin has decided to hammer the last nail into the coffin of democracy in Russia. Our latest article gathers various news sources and is entitled, "Putin's New Anti-Navalny Law." View it in "Recent News."
July 4, 2021:
March 24 and April 15, 2021: Our article, "Alexei Navalny; Prepared to Lose Everything" was published by Gatestone on March 24 and the BESA Center for Srategic Studies on April 15. This is a comprehensive article on the man Putin feared most. Find it in our Russia section. A writer couldn't find a more colorful and tragic opposition figure than Navalny.
February 4, 2021: Published yesterday in our "Recent News" section, was "How Democracy Dies: Big Tech Becomes Big Brother. Here we discuss not only censorship by Big Tech in America, and practices that are further dividng our country, but a heroic figure in another country, Alexei Navalny of Russia.
December 16, 2020: Our new article, just published by the Gatestone Institute is entitled, "Is America's Fourth Estate (Free Press) in Foreclosure." Yes, the great watchdog now needs watching and you can find more by clicking on "Recent News." and scrolling down to the second article.
In 1990, General Bill Odom, a leading Russian expert, explained at the George Kennan Institute, that although “President Reagan's strategy ... did not enjoy popularity among many Sovietologists, there were notable exceptions, such as Richard Pipes, Zbigniew Brzezinski,Thomas Hammond, and Jiri Valenta… Yet the [positive] results of the Reagan approach have been precisely the opposite of what the majority of Sovietologists expected.”
This is the principle website of the fourth Russologist, and "notable exception" mentioned by Odom -- Dr Jiri Valenta. Jiri has consulted in the past with principal policy-makers for both Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan. Zbigniew Brzezinski acknowledged him when he signed a picture taken of both of them at a high level State Dept. meeting, "To Jiri with admiration for his work." Henry Kissinger and Jeanne Kirkpatrick asked him to be a principal witness and drafter of a principle section of the Bi-partisan Commission on Central America dealing with the USSR's and Cuba's policies in the region,
An internationally renowned strategist, specializing on Russia, Islamic terrorism and rogue regimes North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, Jiri has for two decades written in tandem with his wife and partner, Leni Friedman Valenta. Appointed in 2017 as a Non-Resident Senior Research Associate at the BESA [Begin-Sadat] Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel, he has also served in the past as director of a post-revolutionary think tank, the Institute of International Relations, for Vaclav Havel, the former president of the post-revolutionary government of Czech Republic (now Czechia).
In 1984 he was elected to the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR),New York, and in 1985 he was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the ten most consulted Sovietologists outside of Washington. In 1989, the Russians recognized Jiri's contributions while inviting him and former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze to debate in an official booklet sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, Jiri was the first Russologist who recognized the emergence of Boris Yeltsin as the new leader of Russia. He was the author of an essay in the Miami Herald and article in the Russian Daily, Argumenty y facty, that heralded the coming of Yeltsin's era. Yeltsin honored him with a number of private audiences, Jiri also arranged the funding for Yeltsin's visit to his Institute at the University of Miami in 1990-91.
While Russia retreated after the 1991 disintegration of the USSR, Jiri and Leni traveled to critical regions of the world for their dual research. As Russia returned to a prominent actor in world politics, They performed research trips to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Morocco and eastern and western Europe.
Mission: Leni and Jiri's mission with their institute is to advise U.S, policy-makers, analysts, scholars and the public on threats to our national security while proposing ideas for conflict resolution. Hence they also subscribe to the view that foreign policy begins at home in our much conflicted and divided country. Uniquely, we have also had many of our articles published in the online journal of the Russian International Affairs Council [RIAC] with the support of its Director General, Andrey Kortunov.
With a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, SAIS (1976). and an Ing. (graduate degree) from the Prague School of Economics (1968), Jiri is the recipient of several distinguished fellowships; Brookings, Council on Foreign Relations, Rockefeller, Wilson Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, Peace Foundation and others. While at Brookings, Jiri worked as a research associate of Dr. Josef Korbel on the latter's two books at the Library of Congress, 1973-74. Korbel, the father of Madeleine Albright, became his mentor.
In 2005, Jiri received the silver, Jan Masaryk medal, awarded to him by the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs for "his contribution in preserving and promoting relations between the Czech Republic and the United States of America." Czech Foreign Minister Jan Masaryck was assassinated in 1948 by a self-confessed, Czech, Jan Bydzovsky, working as a British agent.
A graduate cum laude of Brandeis University, Leni holds an MFA in play writing from the Yale School of Drama, where she graduated with honors. The winner of a New Jersey award as the author of The Fortress, a play about Benedict Arnold, she also wrote a biography of Clara Barton, an unsung heroine of the Civil War, and had plays produced off-off Broadway under her prior married name, Hamilton. A former political activist for the Democratic Party, Leni served in the past as Municipal chair of Westwood, New Jersey. She is a past winner of the Hannah G. Soloman Award from the National Council of Jewish women for her work as a community organizer for family planning issues.. For almost a decade, however, she has been a registered Independent which in today's world is center right.. .
Leni's research on the American Revolution and Civil War has furnished a comparative perspective for her and Jiri the two still working on a two-part study, Russia's Democratic Revolution. She and Jiri have worked as a writing team for many years on articles for the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, The Middle East Quarterly, Gatestone Institute, The National Interest, Aspen Review, Miami Herald, Kyiv Post and others.
Dept. Of National Security Affairs U.S. Naval Post-Graduate School 1976-85"
An American scholar of Czech origin, he taught for a decade as professor at the Department of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Postgraduate Naval School (PG School), Monterey, and served as Coordinator of its Soviet and East European Studies program. He found his National Security Department very flexible and open to different political views. .
Recommended for a position as a full professor of Political Science at the University of Miami by both Brzezinski and Kissinger, Jiri also founded the school's Institute of Soviet and East European Studies [ISEES]. His institute organized several international conferences dealing with conflict and resolution involving Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan and America. One of the most important was with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, in 1986. The resulting book, Conflict in Nicaragua, featured the first dialogue between representatives of the Sandinistas and Contra leaders, while proposing a peaceful resolution.
The most significant international conferences of ISEES, however, materialized as what became known as the "Moscow- Miami" and "Prague- Miami Dialogues," 1988-1992. They featured Boris Yeltsin, new Czech Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier, key U.S. and Russian legislators, and advisers, scholars, editors and opinion-makers on behalf of both Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev. A resulting publication was a conference report in Russian and English written by Jiri with Andrey Kortunov, then a department head of Russia's Institute of the USA and Canada. Kortunov also taught a seminar with Jiri at ISEES prior to the conference.
After Dienstbier's visit to ISEES in October in 1990, Jiri was asked by the late Czech Foreign Minister Dienstbier to become either the Czech ambassador to the U.N. or to direct a think tank, the Institute of International relations (IIR he chose the latter. While firing secret police agents in the institute, he obtained grants from the Konrad Adenauer and PEW Foundations, the latter jointly with Daniel Pipes' Foreign Policy Institute in Philadelphia. Under his aegis, the institute produced two important publications, Mame narodni zajmy [Do We Have National Interests?] and Czech National Interests [Ceske narodni zajmy].
The Institute also organized the Sanford Ziff Freedom Flight of Soviet Jews, pioneering a route from Moscow through Prague to Tel Aviv. However , when he proposed closing the PLO Embassy in Prague in the Czech daily, Respect, and invited Daniel Pipes to lecture at his institute, The Society of Czechoslovak Friends of Palestine wrote a booklet attacking him. A month thereafter, a new Foreign Minister dismissed him. Belatedly (2005) Jiri received the Jan Masaryck medal for his outstanding work.
Dr. Valenta's Publications
Jiri is the author or co-author of many books including a seminal study, Soviet Intervention in Czechoslovakia, 1968; Anatomy of a Decision, Johns Hopkins Press, 1991. More can be found in our section on his books.
The Valentas are available for consultation, TV interviews, university lecturing, public speaking and special research projects. They may be contacted at email@example.com
THE INSTITUTE OF POST COMMUNIST STUDIES
THE VALENTA-CENTER FOR STRATEGIC ISSUES
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Valenta Center, For Srategic Issues .