Interviews and Signings

Interview with the Washington Post
Sunday, January 27, 2014

Sochi Olympics.JPEG-0eafd

The countdown to Sochi was supposed be joyous, a celebration of all things Russian and the Olympics, too.

Instead it’s been nothing but a grim reminder that Olympic officials had no idea what they were getting when they bought into Vladimir Putin’s visions of surf and snow and handed him a Winter Olympics to call his own.

Every day seems to bring a new threat or another warning. Every day strains the nerves more, to the point where some athletes are telling family and friends it’s not worth the risk to go, even for the most important moment of their lives.

Suicide bombings a few hundred miles away. Threats of more to come in Sochi itself. A hardened militant group nearby with an immense hatred of Putin and Russia and little regard for human life.

And a general uneasiness that no matter how many billions they’ve spent, the Russians really aren’t ready for this at all.


Read full article here: href=”“>



Interview on BBC World Service Newshour, June 24, 2013
Dagestan and Boston special


Interview for a BBC NewsHour Special Edition on the Boston Bombing and the situation in the North Caucasus, a live simulcast from Boston and Dagestan, includes a rare interview with Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (Tamarlan and Dzhokar’s mother), imams from the mosque Tamarlan attended in Dagestan, Russian officials, and more. Broadcast on most NPR stations throughout the U.S. and worldwide on the BBC World Service.

My portion of the interview begins at 35:06 but I suggest listening from 26:30 to get the full context.

Listen to the Interview



Editorial for CNN/Time, April 22, 2013
The Truth About The Chechen Threat






As we all struggle to make sense of the Boston bombings, and the revelation that the two suspects are ethnic Chechens, there has been a rush to reacquaint ourselves with the troubled North Caucasus region in the hope that we might be able to answer questions like “why did this happen,” or “are we under attack again?” And as the airwaves and the blogospheres are swarmed with facts and opinions, it’s worth taking a step back to put this deluge of information in some context.

Interview with, April 20, 2013




“That’s what the current president, who is supported by Putin, has claimed: We don’t need these outsiders coming in to impose a foreign form of Islam. The problem is, many of the region’s young men are more afraid of the local authorities than they are of the insurgents and terrorists. They never know when someone is going to be rounded up and disappeared. Any year of the U.S. State Department’s report on human rights in the region will tell you about this at length.”


Interview with Westwood Radio/ Jim Bohannon Show, April 19, 2013

jim bohanan show;jses…


Interview with Politico, April 19, 2013





The region was strategic ground for the Chechens in relation to Russia and the shift in U.S. policy from the 1990s into 2002 was partly due to the Chechen’s use of terrorist tactics, including several attacks in Moscow.

“Prior to 2002, there was a lot of support from Western governments for the Chechens and their bid for independence. But around 2002, some of the Chechens started a terrorism campaign – at which point pretty much all international support for their operations dropped off,” said Schaefer, author of “The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus.”

Interview with the New York Times, January 20, 2012

At War - Notes From the Front Lines

“The main problem is that the local population is more afraid of the security forces than they are of the insurgents and terrorists. So regardless of how well the Russians are winning on the information and ideological fronts, they will not be able to lower the level of violence until the population desires to have government security forces in the region to protect them.”


Television Interview with Voice of America, March 11, 2011












Interview with Defence Report, September 20th, 2012



The Frank Gaffney Show, Radio Interview, October 7th, 2011




The Tipping Point

Voice of America (in Russian)


Interview with Voice of America (Russian Service)







It May Be Too Late For A New North Caucasus Policy

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, From Gazavat to Jihad is quoted in the article.











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