Two Years On: What is the Path Forward in Ukraine?

As Russia’s invasion stretches into its third year, optimism about Ukraine’s prospects in the war is diminishing steeply.  What realistically can be achieved on the battlefield?  Is a diplomatic settlement possible or even desirable?  What actions should the United States take to prevent Ukrainian defeat, preserve Ukrainian independence and protect American security? 

The Quincy Institute held a conversation with George Beebe, Director of Grand Strategy, and Anatol Lieven, Eurasia Director, contemplating these questions in advance of the two year anniversary of Russia’s invasion and discuss their forthcoming report arguing that U.S. diplomacy is urgently needed for a negotiated settlement to preserve Ukraine’s future. They were joined by Michael Kimmage, Professor of History at Catholic University and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The conversation was be moderated by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, senior advisor for the Quincy Institute and editorial director at Responsible Statecraft.


George Beebe

George Beebe is Director of the Grand Strategy program at the Quincy Institute. He spent more than two decades in government as an intelligence analyst, diplomat, and policy advisor, including as director of the CIA’s Russia analysis and as a staff advisor on Russia matters to Vice President Cheney. His book, The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe (2019), warned how the United States and Russia could stumble into a dangerous military confrontation.

Anatol Lieven

Dr. Anatol Lieven is Director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and the southern Caucasus. Lieven is the author of several books, including "Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power?" and "Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry."

Michael Kimmage

Michael Kimmage is a professor of history and department chair at the Catholic University of America and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2014 to 2017, he served on the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, where he held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio. He publishes widely on international affairs, U.S.-Russian relations and American diplomatic history.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is a senior advisor at the Quincy Institute and editorial director of its online magazine, Responsible Statecraft. Previously she served as executive editor managing editor, and longtime foreign policy/national security writer at the American Conservative magazine. She also spent 15 years as an online political reporter for Fox News.