October 13, 2020: The people in Belarus have risen in protest against a rigged election by Europe's longest reigning dictator. What will Putin do? There are also sympathy demonstrations in Russia. Will Putin use
force to put down descent? Jiri Valenta argues there is a role for the U.S. in peaceful negotiation. Look for this one in our "Russia, Conflict and Confrontation" section.
August 29 2020: Our latest article is "The Obama Most Americans Do Not Know, And Why It Matters,"
written by Leni Valenta and published by the Institute for Investigative Research, Canada. They have been doing studies which link Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood and this article provides some important documentation. The issue has been around for some time, but there has been a seeming reluctance to raise it. We believe it must be raised. Click on "Recent News."
August 11, 2020: If you lived during the era when the American slogan was, "Better dead than red,"
you may look with awe on the fact that Black Lives Matters, whose leaders are self-confessed communists, are so popular. While their leaders profess to be trained Marxists, however, we wonder if they don't more resemble Bolsheviks. To review the difference and what it may mean, click on "Recent News."
July 4, 2020: If you only heard how Mike Flynn "lied" to the Feds, you didn't get the whole story. He signed a plea bargain after prosecutors threatened to go after his son. In fact the Feds who interviewed him didn't think he was consciously lying! Mike was taken down in a sting operation because as NSA he would have blown the whistle on Russia-gate. See the full story by clicking on "Recent News."
June 6, 2020: Our article, "How Putin is Winning in Syria," was published in the summer issue of the Middle East Quarterly. You can find it here in our Syria section. Putin is succeeding with an unusual paradigm you may find interesting.
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 been 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. She is presently registered as an Independent.
A student of the American Revolution and Civil War, Leni has also, in the past, been a political activist and writer for the Democratic Party. As the former aide and press secretary for a state senator, she briefly served in the past as Municipal Chair of Westwood, New Jersey, and ran, at one point, for county committee.
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, America and 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"
While building their institute, Jiri, with Leni's help, has built on his experience of founding a studies program and two other institutes. 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. .
Jiri also supervised more than a dozen Masters theses of students of three armed services, some later assigned as military attaches, others as intelligence officers. Nine theses were published by the PG School, one by Major Arthur D. Nicholson Jr., shot to death by a Soviet guard in East Germany. To the Washington Post, Nicholson was "one of the Army's best and brightest of Russian specialists who had made daring missions behind the Iron Curtain to gather intelligence on the Red Army. "
While teaching at the PG School (1976-85) Jiri also served with Richard Pipes and Nathan Sharansky as a member of the The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews and lobbied with members of Congress on Jewish emigration from Russia and Eastern Europe. He also co-edited a volume, Eurocommunism Between East and West. published by the Indiana University Press. In 1981-82, as a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Fellow he was asked to organize a CFR group on the Crisis in Poland, presided over by Lt. General (USAF) Brent Scowcroft. The group included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Pipes, Madeleine Albright and others. At that time Jiri wrote two articles on the Polish crisis for Survival, London, and dozens of op-eds for the Baltimore Sun about Soviet hybrid interventions in Poland.
Jiri has been deeply involved in lecturing and writing about U.S. national security. Besides issues like the U.S. military interventions in Grenada and the proxy wars in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Namibia and Cambodia ,he has been asked to serve on U.S. Government-sponsored studies dealing with strategic surprise and deception operations. On these subjects he has written for the journal, Survival, published by the Institute of Strategic Studies in London, but also books sponsored by both the U.S. and Canadian governments. Consult the definitive study called "Deception Operations" edited by professors David Charters and Maurice Tugwell The study was conducted by the Mackenzie Institute for the Studies of Terrorism at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
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.
With the help of the Cuban American National Foundation, and the Jewish community, the institute published information about the real state of Cuban-Russian relations in prominent Russian and Czech newspapers and journals. This opened the eyes of the Russia public to the enormous cost of Kremlin subsidies to Fidel Castro's regime, and his rejection of glasnost.
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. The last edition has an introduction by the late Czechoslovak leader, Alexander Dubcek, who wrote "Dr. Valenta's work deserves praise .. it succeeds in reconstructing these tragic events faithfully." Foreign Affairs has described the book as, "Probaby the best-grounded study yet done on the Soviet handling of the Czechoslovak affair of 1968. Robert Legvold has called it, "a well received original study" and "a vindication of his original assessment." Russian-born, American scholar Yury Federov, a board member of the International Relations Center, referred to Valenta's "brilliant analysis" while reviewing the usefulness of Valenta's bureaucratic politics paradigm for studying Vladimir Putin's 2008 intervention in Georgia.
Jiri's publications includes books on post-communist, radical regimes of the Caribbean and Central America. Building on research conducted by Jiri and his late wife, Virginia, at the Soviet and East European Studies research and publications on Cuba and Russia in the Western hemisphere, such as Grenada and Soviet/Cuban Policy, Internal Crisis and U.S./OEC Intervention. , Co-authored with former Kennan Institute Chairman Herbert Ellison, it was highly recommended by Zbigniew Brzezinski as a "genuinely valuable, case study of proxy Soviet expansionism ... an important guide to effective U.S. response." To Henry Kissinger it was "a unique perspective on Grenada's former relationship with the former Soviet Union and its allies." Valenta was also praised by Gaddis Smith (Foreign Affairs) for his book Conflict in Nicaragua. "Representative of widely divergent viewpoints than most of the current writing on Nicaragua, t
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