Jonathan Schroden, Ph.D.
Research Program Director
Special Ops Research Coordinator


Jonathan Schroden directs the Stability and Development Program. Schroden is an expert on the Marine Corps, special operations forces, terrorism/counterterrorism, indigenous force development, security force assistance, foreign internal defense, insurgency/counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, stability operations and operations assessment.

Since joining CNA in 2003, Schroden has deployed ten times to Afghanistan, twice to Iraq, and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. He served as the CNA Field Representative to several Marine Corps commands, to U.S. Central Command, and to the International Security Assistance Force. Schroden has most recently directed multiple independent assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and a study of how to improve the integration of special operations forces and general purpose forces for crisis response. He has also deployed on numerous Navy ships and supported disaster relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Schroden holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. from Cornell University and two B.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.


February 26, 2020

Jonathan Schroden says, "If the elites in Kabul cannot form and present a unified front in talks with the Taliban it will undermine their negotiating position and give the Taliban more room for maneuver in the discussions."

The Diplomat: "Afghans Celebrate Reduction in Hostilities but Fear Civil War"

January 9, 2020

Jonathan Schroden says, "It is hard to say whether he was actually traveling under a false title in this case; it's possible that Iran could have named him as a DCM, if even temporarily, in whatever travel documents he had, etc., in order to provide him official cover for his travel."

Voice of America: "Afghan Officials: Iran's New Quds Chief Likely Faked Identity in 2018"

January 2, 2020

Jonathan Schroden says, "The Taliban have not in any way ramped down their attacks against Afghan security forces, and they continue to see those as a line of pressure against the Afghan government."

Indus News: "Afghanistan Unrest" [5:55]

December 16, 2019

Jonathan Schroden writes, "The vast majority of these officials were not lying or delusional — they were aggressively pursuing objectives that were mostly incoherent or unachievable and doing their best to make sense of information that was, as a result, often conflicting or incoherent itself."

War on the Rocks: "There Was No "Secret War on the Truth" in Afghanistan"

November 20, 2019

Jonathan Schroden says, "In the absence of a path to get a deal it's an era of uncertainty. US troops have been given an order to hammer the Taliban like they've never been hit before, but to what end?"

Financial Times: "Taliban Commanders Released in Afghan Prisoner Swap"

September 17, 2019

Jonathan Schroden says, "The U.S. is most concerned about IS-K [Islamic State Khorasan] as potentially the next big thing inside ISIS."

Express: "Return of ISIS: Taliban Fight 'Join ISIS in Droves' - 'U.S. Is Concerned'"