Alexander Benard

Visiting Fellow

Alexander Benard is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a Senior Managing Director at Cerberus, a global leader in alternative investing with over $39 billion in assets, where he is the Co-Head of Cerberus Frontier.  Mr. Benard leads transactions across various frontier markets in Asia and Africa.  He previously served as Managing Partner of SGI Frontier Capital, which was acquired by Cerberus, and Managing Director at Gryphon Partners, an advisory and investment firm focused on the Middle East and Central Asia. Prior to Gryphon, he worked as an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb, where he specialized in cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and private equity transactions.  Mr. Benard is an active commentator on U.S. foreign policy.  He has published articles in Foreign AffairsWorld Affairs, the National InterestForeign Policy, and the Wall Street Journal, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Voice of America. Mr. Benard holds a Bachelor's degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School. 


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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

America Needs To Sell More Weapons

by Alexander Benardvia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, July 1, 2018

[Subscription Required] America’s arms-sales policies are too restrictive, leading even some pro-U.S. countries to buy weapons from Russia and China. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act would give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authority to waive certain new restrictions for specific countries enacted by Congress last year. But the problem is more fundamental: The U.S. arms-sale regime needs to be recalibrated to protect American influence in a highly competitive geopolitical environment.

Analysis and Commentary

Time To Move The American ICT Supply Chain Out Of China

by Alexander Benardvia The American Interest
Friday, May 25, 2018
The Trump Administration is continuing to work on a possible trade deal with China that would result in China purchasing more U.S. goods and making it easier for U.S. companies to operate in China, while at the same time averting major tariffs.

Could Trump Revive U.S. Commercial Engagement in Africa?

by Alexander Benardvia World Politics Review
Friday, February 3, 2017

The Trump administration has signaled that it is likely to scale back traditional U.S. development assistance programs in sub-Saharan Africa and favor more commercial engagement with the continent. That shift was evident in a four-page list of questions distributed to the State Department last month before Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Preserving a Powerful Weapon Against Terror

by Alexander Benardvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The American University of Afghanistan gives young Afghans a modern education and exposes them to U.S. values.

Recovering from the Obama Doctrine

by Alexander Benardvia National Interest
Thursday, March 10, 2016

“The failure of [the administration’s] foreign policy is now clear to everyone except its architects, and even they must entertain private doubts. . .” So began Jeane Kirkpatrick’s seminal piece excoriating President Carter’s flawed foreign policy and laying the groundwork for a major strategic realignment under President Reagan; but she just as well might have been talking about President Obama as he approaches his final year in office. 

Redemption in the South China Sea

by Alexander Benardvia The Washington Times
Thursday, November 5, 2015
The Obama administration must not undermine its policy with weakness.

How to Succeed in Business

by Alexander Benardvia Foreign Affairs
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On October 19, 2011, the government of Afghanistan -- acting in part on the recommendation of U.S. military advisers working with the Afghan Ministry of Mines -- granted a license to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to develop several oil fields in northern Afghanistan. Just three years earlier, another state-owned Chinese company, the China Metallurgical Group Corporation, won the rights to develop Afghanistan's Aynak copper deposit, one of the largest in the world, again with American acquiescence.

islam, sunset

The Advantage to Islam Of Mosque-State Separation

by Alexander Benardvia Policy Review
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What the American Founders can teach