Articles by: Marvin Ott

Marvin Ott

Marvin Ott

Columnist at The Ellsworth American
Marvin Ott is a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution. He is a summer resident of Cranberry Isles.
  • Ukraine’s Asian echoes

    Last week, President Biden met with the leaders of nine Southeast Asian nations — the first such gathering since 2016 and the first ever at the White House. The event was greatly overshadowed by the ongoing war in Ukraine, but it took on added significance precisely because of the events in Europe. East Asia/Southeast Asia

  • High stakes — and rising

    The full magnitude of seminal events can be hard to grasp when we are in their midst. The ongoing war in Ukraine is far more than a bloody, but localized, conflict on Russia’s western periphery. It began with a massive miscalculation by Vladimir Putin — that he could invade and occupy Ukraine with minimal resistance

  • The Cold War — again

    It is still the early stages; the final outcome of the war in Ukraine is unknown. Many scenarios, including a protracted bloody stalemate, are possible. However, it is increasingly clear that this war will shape the international strategic landscape in ways more profound than any since World War II. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian

  • Middle East glass half empty

    The Middle East has long been a thorn in the side of American foreign policy. Entire careers at the State Department have been expended on the Israeli-Palestinian problem with little to show for it. Civil wars in Syria and Yemen have continued unabated year after year. Iran has been a running sore in regional and

  • Ukraine: The China factor

    For a month, the awful, heroic war for Ukraine has riveted the attention of governments and publics in Europe and America. But there is another important and attentive spectator, China — a fact underlined by President Biden’s important phone conversation with President Xi last Friday. Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine

  • Ukraine forever

    The ongoing Ukraine crisis is entirely the creation of one man — Vladimir Putin. His decision to deploy a potential invasion force along Ukraine’s borders has been driving events. From the beginning, the questions have been: Why is he doing this? What does he want? How far is he prepared to go? Putin has provided

  • Burma in flames

    The Biden administration has a full plate of major foreign policy challenges — from Ukraine to North Korea to Iran. But this crowded agenda must leave room for still another consequential issue — the gathering civil war in Burma (Myanmar, if you prefer) on what is now the first anniversary of the military coup that

  • Ukraine under the gun

    There is a surreal, even bizarre, quality to the ongoing Ukraine crisis. All of it is entirely artificial — the product of the obsessions and ambitions of one man in the Kremlin. Ukraine is not a threat to anyone; it aspires to nothing more than becoming an integral part of the European community of nations.

  • The home front

    We are now well into the second decade of the 21st century and the U.S. is beset by serious, even existential, threats. They fall into three broad categories: (1) a geopolitical challenge posed by unfriendly rivals — Russia and, especially, China; (2) transnational threats, notably pandemics and climate change; and (3) the enemy within —

  • American prospect

    The character and direction of international affairs are determined in no small part by the relative capabilities of the major powers. There have been many voices over recent years pronouncing the end of the American era. Analysts have forecast the rise of new non-Western powers — India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and, possibly, others. Senior

  • Ukraine gamble

    As Russia masses troops and weapons along its border with Ukraine, all the traditional warning indicators are flashing red. The CIA and the Pentagon have reported that preparations for a Russian invasion are nearly complete, but the actual decision to move has not yet been made. The White House, which would much rather be focused

  • Germany turns the page

    Next week an era will end in Europe. Angela Merkel, Germany’s long-serving (16 years) chancellor, will retire; a new coalition government will take office. Merkel was an unlikely giant on the international stage. Born behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, she studied physics, learned Russian and acquired a keen understanding of the pathologies of