Bridge Colby and Timothy Snyder Firing Line debate on Ukraine and Taiwan at the Buckley Institute on February 28.

Firing Line Debate: The US Should Prioritize Taiwan Over Ukraine

On March 6, 2024, the Buckley Institute held a Firing Line debate on whether the U.S. Should Prioritize Taiwan over Ukraine.

Date & Time
March 6, 2024, 4:30 pm
WLH 119
100 Wall St,
New Haven, CT
On Wednesday, March 6, at 4:30pm, the Buckley Institute hosted a Firing Line debate between Marathon Initiative Founder and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Bridge Colby, and Richard Levin Professor of History and Global Affairs Timothy Snyder.

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. He is the author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict (Yale University Press, 2021), which The Wall Street Journal selected as one of the top ten books of 2021. 

Earlier in his career, Colby served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development from 2017-2018. In that role, he served as the lead official in the development and rollout of the Department’s preeminent strategic planning guidance, the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). The 2018 NDS shifted the Department of Defense’s focus to the challenges to U.S. security interests posed first and foremost by China, followed by Russia; emphasized restoring the Joint Force’s warfighting edge against these major power competitors; and stressed the importance of clearly focusing on these priorities over lesser interests. Colby also served as the primary Defense Department representative in the development of the 2017 National Security Strategy.

Colby has also worked as the Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he led the Center’s work on defense issues from 2018-2019, and earlier was a senior fellow at both CNAS and at CNA. Over the course of his career, he has also served in a variety of U.S. Government roles working on strategic forces, arms control, and intelligence reform matters, including serving with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during its stand-up in 2005-2006. Colby has also served on the staff of a number of government commissions, including the 2014 National Defense Panel, the 2008-2009 Strategic Posture Commission, and the 2004-2005 President’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (or “Iraq WMD intelligence”) Commission.

Colby publishes widely both in the United States and abroad. In the United States, his articles have appeared in outlets such as Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The National Interest. Abroad, he has published articles or been extensively interviewed in outlets such as Asahi ShimbunYomiuri ShimbunNikkei AsiaThe Hindustan TimesThe AustralianThe Sydney Morning Herald, Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche ZeitungFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungInternationale Politik, Die ZeitLe FigaroThe SpectatorThe Telegraph, SurvivalThe National Post, La Stampa, Il FoglioThe Taipei TimesHankook IlboThe New Straits Times, The Manila Standard, PolitikenDagens Nyheter, and Lidove Noviny. He also regularly appears on television, radio, podcast, and online programs in both the United States and abroad. He has testified a number of times before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Colby is a recipient of the Distinguished and Exceptional Public Service Awards from the Department of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.


Timothy Snyder is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. At Yale, he teaches in the History Department and at the Jackson School of Global Affairs. He speaks five and reads ten European languages. His eight chief books are Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), Thinking the Twentieth Century (with Tony Judt, 2012); Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (2015); On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2017); and The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (2018).  Snyder co-edited three further books: The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in Europe and North America (2001); Stalin and Europe: Terror, War, Domination (2013); and The Balkans as Europe (2018). His essays are collected in Ukrainian History, Russian Politics, European Futures (2014), and The Politics of Life and Death (2015). Snyder's work has appeared in forty languages and has received a number of prizes, including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Václav Havel Foundation prize, the Foundation for Polish Science prize in the social sciences, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, the Dutch Auschwitz Committee award, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. Snyder was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford, and has received the Carnegie and Guggenheim fellowships, and holds state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland. He has appeared in documentaries, on network television, and in major films. His books have inspired posters, sculpture, punk rock, rap, film, theater, and opera. His words are quoted in political demonstrations around the world. He is currently researching a family history of nationalism and writing a philosophical book about freedom.



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