David L. Knoll, Ph.D.
Research Scientist


David Knoll is an expert in military innovation, irregular warfare and non-state armed groups. He has examined ISIL military innovation for several U.S. national security organizations to help them better understand the group's tactics and ability to adapt and innovate, a continuation of his prior work analyzing improvised explosive device (IED) technology in the Iraq War while at the Department of Defense. At CNA, he has primarily supported U.S. Marine Corps and Special Operations sponsors.

Prior to joining CNA, Knoll was a Rosenthal Fellow, serving as a Pakistan Country Officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, briefing military and civilian leaders on U. S. security interests in South Asia. He also served as Research Director for former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's final book, "Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West.

Knoll earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, with a dual major in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies.


January 16, 2018

David Knoll says, "Looking at non-state actor drone operations in the last 2-3 years, I would expect to see more efforts to launch swarm drone attacks by non-state groups in the future."

The National Interest: "Could This be the U.S. Military's Secret Weapon to Stop a 'Swarm' Strike?"

September 20, 2017

Defense News quotes CNA analyst David Knoll, Ph.D. in "Virtual Reality, Drones and 3-D Printing Drive Terrorist Innovation"

September 20, 2017

Inside Defense quotes CNA analyst David Knoll, Ph.D. in "Naval Analyst: 3D Printing 'Will Challenge' U.S. Military"

August 7, 2017

RealClearLife quotes CNA analysts Vera Zakem and David Knoll, Ph.D. in “How Tech Companies Are Fighting the Digital War Against ISIS”

July 10, 2017

CNA releases the eighth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. CNA analysts David Knoll, Ph.D., Larry Lewis, Ph.D.,  and Zack Gold discuss the findings and implications of newly released CNA paper, Decade of War: Applying Past Lessons to the Counter-ISIS Campaign. Listen to this episode.

March 21, 2017

CNA releases the fifth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. Dr. Eric Thompson moderated a discussion on ISIS’s use of social media, drones, tunnels and more with Jonathan Schroden, Ph.D., David Knoll, Ph.D., Pamela Faber and Zack Gold

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