John Wohlstetter

Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute

John Wohlstetter is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (beg. 2001) and at the London Center for Public Policy Research (beg. 2013). He is founder and editor of the issues blog Letter From The Capitol, and author of the books Sleepwalking With The Bomb (2d ed. 2014) and The Long War Ahead and the Short War Upon Us (2008). His many articles, chiefly focusing on national security, include entries in The American Spectator, National Review Online, The Daily Caller, PJ Media, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. His two book talks were aired on C-SPAN 2 Book TV. He gave a military history lecture on his second book, at the University Club, Washington, D.C. (Jan. 2013). He has given over 1,000 radio interviews (2008-2015), many of them on nationally syndicated stations. He began a Letter From The Capitol weekly podcast, in July 2013; he maintains a Twitter page (@JohnWohlstetter) for updated commentary and appearance schedule. On August 14, 2013 he served as guest host for the nationally syndicated Dennis Miller Show, of which he is a frequent guest. On January 21, 2015 he gave the first annual Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter Memorial National Security Lecture for the London Center, jointly sponsored by Discovery Institute, Rethinking the Unthinkable: Why Failures of Imagination, Projection, and Strategy Court Nuclear Catastrophe.

He holds degrees from the University of Miami (B.B.A. [Finance], 1969), Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 1977) and The George Washington University (M.A., Public Policy [Telecommunications], 1985).

He assisted foreign arbitrage traders at Goldman Sachs (1969-73) and Drexel Burnham Lambert (1973-74). He was an attorney for Contel Corporation (1978-91), concentrating in general corporate and communications law, then as director - technology affairs, a post he also held at GTE Corporation (1991-2000) and Verizon (2000). During his tenure at Contel he served as senior adviser to the Committee on Review of Switching, Synchronization and Network Control in National Security Telecommunications; the Committee, established by the National Research Council, issued a report, Growing Vulnerability of the Public Switched Networks: Implications for National Security Emergency Preparedness (1989). He has authored myriad telecommunications articles.

In 2001 he joined Discovery Institute as a senior fellow in 2001. In 2013, he added a similar position at the London Center for Policy Research.

He is a trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra (beg. 2014; former NSO director 1992-2014); a trustee of the Billy Rose Foundation (beg. 1996); a trustee of the Washington Bach Consort (beg. 2002); a trustee of the London Center for Public Policy Research (beg. 2013); a director of The Israel Energy Partnership (beg. 2015).

He resides in Charleston, SC.


Russia Then & Now: A Tale of Two Visits

Part I: 1985 In 1985 I spent 13 days in Russia — then officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), but which I will call Russia for reader convenience. I traveled with 100 others, under the august auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. After 32 years and countless tectonic intervening events, I recently returned to what — no surprise — Read More ›

Obama’s Palestine Punchout

It is possible that President Obama actually believes that his 11th hour Mideast madness at the UN — stealthily coordinated with the Palestinians, according to Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu; initiated by the U.S., according to the Egyptians — will foster peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is so delusional that if his belief is in fact honest it is arguably even Read More ›

2016: The West’s Last Chance — Last Gasp?

Will it defend itself or not?
Behold recent developments: the moral inversion elevating Hamas over Israel, skewered by Dennis Prager (4:12); the fascism of militant Islam; insanely strict rules of engagement that tie our hands in battle; Miss Puerto Rico suspended from the Miss Universe pageant for an anti-Muslim online rant; rampant political correctness describing as “peaceful or moderate” Muslims who take offense at those who link Islam to terrorism; the government questioning the loyalty of an Read More ›

‘New York Values’: Cruz, Trump and History

The spirited exchange between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on what constitutes “New York values” was a high point of the Charleston Republican debate. Trump won the televised exchange, citing the Big Apple’s heroic response to the atrocities of September 11, 2001. The normally articulate Cruz was unable to effectively respond, despite knowing in advance of the debate that Trump had assailed Cruz’s off-the-cuff Read More ›

Sinatra Turns 100: ‘Ring-A-Ding Ding!”

Someone like him comes along just once in a lifetime
Amidst the horrific news all over the globe, this holiday season has been a time to count our blessings, and pray for better days ahead for all civilized humanity and for deliverance from atavist barbarism. This season brings us the gift of Francis Albert Sinatra (1915–1998), in the marking of his birth centennial. Nearly seven years ago I penned a TAS article, Awaiting Read More ›

Will Our Values Make Us Seek Peace With Genocide?

This is what the “peace process” in the Middle East has led to
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hitler got the idea of perpetrating the Holocaust from Haj Amin al-Husseini, as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1922 to 1948 spiritual leader of the Arabs in Palestine, he predictably ignited a firestorm. In fact, as this Israel Network video (4:56) shows, the mufti’s role in the Nazi genocidal enterprise was that of eager collaborator Read More ›

Actually, the Wimpy Thing Would Have Been for GOP Candidates to Put Up with Biased Debate Moderators

The substantiveness of the Fox Business/Wall Street Journal GOP presidential debate Tuesday night gave the lie to media complaints that the presidential candidates had been seeking to turn the GOP debates into toothless Safe Spaces. After the CNBC debate, with its unabashedly biased moderation job, several candidates held a post-debate meeting and proposed new rules, including a 67-degree temperature stage, no Read More ›

Rocks on Rosh Hashanah: Golda Was Right

Hating Jews remains the Palestinians’ only priority
Begin with yesterday’s bombshells: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a 40-minute address to the UN General Assembly. He declared Palestine a state — a statement of zero legal effect but of political significance. He announced that: (a) September 30 would henceforth be known (to Palestinians) as Palestinian Flag Day; (b) the Palestinians were no longer bound by the Oslo Accords. Specifically, Abbas Read More ›

From Barbary to the Gulf: Corsairs Then and Now

The only problem now is that the stakes are so much higher
In 2007, two years before he became Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren penned a magisterial history of America’s long involvement in the Middle East, which goes back to within a decade of America’s founding. In Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, Oren shows that not only was America involved in what then Read More ›

Iran: New Canary, Old Tale, Dark Secrets

Warnings from the Iran accord’s nuclear coal mine
Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that while nearly 99 percent of Syria’s 1,300 metric tons of chemical munitions declared in 2013 have been destroyed, stocks of undeclared agents remain—even more lethal than those declared. To anyone familiar with arms control compliance history this should come as no surprise whatsoever. Inspectors entered only sites the Assad regime designated, fearing that otherwise they Read More ›