Albert B. Wolf

Assistant Professor of Political Science, American University of Afghanistan
Areas of Expertise:
  • Policies in Other Nations
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Military & War

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About Albert

Wolf has interests in International Security, focusing on (1) the interaction between crises, domestic political survival and international politics, and (2) nuclear proliferation.  He has a regional interest in the Middle East and enjoys researching Israeli and Iranian foreign policy.  He served as an advisor to the Graham and Kasich Presidential campaigns in 2016 as well as a Legislative Assistant with responsibility for foreign affairs in the House of Representatives.  He is also a Contributor to The Hill’s online Pundit Blog.  



"After JCPOA: American Grant Strategy toward Iran" Comparative Strategy 37, no. 1 (2018): 22-34.

Lays out four options for U.S. grand strategy towards Iran: rollback, offshore balancing, retrenchment, and engagement.

"Structural Sources of China’s Territorial Compromises" (with M. Taylor Fravel). International Security 31, no. 2 (2006): 199-205.

Responds to Fareed Zakaria's regime vulnerability critique of Myths of Empire. 

"Peacemaking and Political Survival in Sadat’s Egypt" Middle East Policy 21, no. 2 (2014): 127-139.

Advances a new argument to account for the relationship between international cooperation and authoritarian political survival. When dictators make peace with their states' enduring rivals or with states with whom they have fought at least six times in the preceding 20 years, they create a focal point for their critics in the general public to rally around. This makes it easier for members of the general public to reveal their true preferences and protest against the incumbent regime, allowing members of the opposition to portray themselves as genuine patriots.

"The Arab Street: Effects of the Six Day War" Middle East Policy 22, no. 2 (2015): 1-15.

Argues that, when autocrats lose, they are vulnerable to being overthrown by mass audiences. In order for them (in this case, the Arab Street) to hold dictators to account, three conditions must hold. Critics must be able to identify and coordinate with one another; they must view fighting and losing a war as a sign of failure; and, finally, protests must pose a threat to a dictator's hold onto power.

"The Arab Street and the Middle East Peace Process: Do Non-Democratic Institutions Constrain or Inform?" Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs 9, no. 2 (2015): 267-278.

Discusses domestic political signaling and Israel's relations with it's Arab neighbors.

"After the Iran Deal: Competing Visions for Israel’s Nuclear Posture" Comparative Strategy 35, no. 2 (2016): 124-130.

Investigates the nuclear postures available to Israel in the wake of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1.

"Backing Down and Domestic Political Survival in Israel: Audience Costs and the Lebanon War of 2006" Polity 48, no. 3 (2016): 414-439.

 Finds that the general public disapproved of the Olmert government’s backing down after issuing threats against Hezbollah, and that public disapproval greatly weakened the government. However, leaders can still retain office when they face multiple audiences (or principals), by cutting side deals with other parties in parliament.


In the News

"I.S. Claims Attack on Military Base in Kabul," Albert B. Wolf, Interview with David Shuster and Shayna Estulin, I24 News, January 29, 2018.
"To Stand with Israel, Give Aid to the Palestinian Authority," Albert B. Wolf, Roll Call, May 6, 2014.
"Nuclear Negotiations: Iran’s Quest for Status," Albert B. Wolf, The National Interest, August 27, 2014.
"Good Barack, Bad Bibi," Albert B. Wolf, The Hill, October 17, 2014.
"No, Obama Shouldn’t Try to Get a Better Deal with Iran," Albert B. Wolf, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (APSI), August 19, 2015.
"Will Retrenchment Make America Great Again," Albert B. Wolf, The National Interest, May 12, 2016.
"Cyberattacks are a Major Security Threat. Here’s How to Deter Them," Albert B. Wolf, The Daily Signal, December 16, 2016.
"Donald Trump Won’t Wreck the World Order," Albert B. Wolf, U.S. News and World Report, December 20, 2016.
"How Trump Can Pressure North Korea with the Stroke of a Pen," Albert B. Wolf, The Diplomat, February 1, 2017.
"Don't Shrink Iraq to Save It," Albert B. Wolf, The National Interest, December 8, 2016.
"What Does ‘Defeating ISIS’ Actually Look Like?," Albert B. Wolf, The National Interest, December 3, 2015.
"This is How Trump Should Use Brinksmanship with North Korea," Albert B. Wolf, The Hill, May 17, 2017.
Albert B. Wolf's research on "Siege of Aleppo – 5m, 48seconds," Israel24, December 14, 2016.