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Rebekah Koffler (’10) offers commentary regarding Ukraine

The Institute of World Politics alumna and former DIA intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler has been providing an expert opinion regarding the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war for Fox News over the past month. She is also the author of Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America.

On February 28th, Fox News published an article discussing Putin’s mental state. In the commentary, Ms. Koffler stated, “Putin is absolutely not crazy. All this talk calling him crazy, it means we’re still not taking Putin seriously or understanding him.” She continued to say, “Putin is a cold-blooded, typical Russian autocratic leader and a very calculated risk-taker. He’s simply executing a plan that he has been hatching for 20 years.” She argued that the portrayal of Putin as “crazy” is a mere cover for the U.S. failure in underestimating the man.

On March 5th, Fox News came out with another article regarding the indoctrination of children in the Russian school system. Ms. Koffler stated, “The Ministry of Education has launched a nationwide program called Open Lesson, where they explain to the children through videos. Teachers are explaining the objective of the special operation in Ukraine, and they call it a liberation mission.” Koffler explained to Fox News that the series of videos has been titled as “defenders of peace” and is being utilized as an explanation as to why the “liberation mission” in Ukraine is a necessity.

Approaching the third week of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Ms. Koffler once again provided commentary to Fox News, stating that Putin is “cornered like a rat” and will go to whatever lengths to break free. She continued by saying, “He wants people to know that when cornered, he will be fighting, he will not be surrendering.” Ms. Koffler gave multiple different reasons for why Putin is feeling extreme pressure throughout the rest of the article.

On March 19th Fox News published an article regarding the United States’ possible under-preparedness for the possibility of Russia utilizing nuclear weapons. She stated that “Judging by our overall response and that we put all our eggs in one basket with sanctions and we were caught off guard regardless of the fact Putin never made it a secret what he was going to do yet we are grasping at straws, given that, it doesn’t seem that we are prepared for the possibility of him using nuclear weapons.”

More recently, on March 26th, Fox News discussed President Biden’s address in Poland where he stated, “For God’s sake, this man [Putin] cannot remain in power.” Ms. Koffler said that this statement has allowed Putin to verify his suspicions that the Biden administration wants him out of power in Russia. Following President Biden’s address, the White House denied that he was calling for regime change. Ms. Koffler said, “I would be interested in knowing whether that was in his TelePrompTer or not, because people who create his speeches have a responsibility for the American people to minimize security threats, and if they put something like that in his TelePrompTer, that means those people are incompetent.”

Rebekah Koffler has spoken to Fox News in the past regarding Russian cyberattacks. She has also held lectures with IWP, which include “Russian Strategy and Cyber Influence Operations Against the United States” and “Russian Cyber Doctrine and Targeting of U.S. Critical Infrastructure”.

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