Jonathan Schroden, Ph.D.
Director, Special Operations Program
Director, Center for Stability and Development


Jonathan 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.


January 31, 2019

Jon Schroden writes, “There is a collective sense of cautious optimism that something notable happened last week and that Afghanistan may have advanced on a path toward peace.”

War on the Rocks: “Getting Ahead of the Implications of a U.S.-Taliban Deal in Afghanistan”

January 9, 2019

Jonathan Schroden says, “I do see this trend of ‘by, with and through’ not just being applied in places where the government is very weak. The US wouldn’t be conducting direct military operations but it could certainly enable a partner nation force. If you look at Jordan or the UAE, they certainly have very capable forces.”

Al Monitor: ‘Congress Plans New Challenge to President’s War Powers Amid Syria Pullout”

January 7, 2019

Jonathan Schroden says, “From the data we gathered, we were able to recreate the paths of the submarines.”

Chemical and Engineering News: “Career Ladder: Jonathan Schroden”

December 27, 2018

Jonathan Schroden writes, “If the U.S. doesn’t want to cede influence in Africa over the next decade or two decades, it really does need to (think) differently about what its military has been doing in Africa over the last 10 years and what types of changes it needs to make.”

Star and Stripes: “African Air Forces Band Together Even as the Pentagon Scales Back Ground Mission”

December 21, 2018

Jonathan Schroden writes, “We concluded that the continued influx of international financial assistance was the single most important factor preventing the centripetal forces of Afghanistan’s various power centers from pulling the country apart.”

War on the Rocks: “So the President Wants out of Afghanistan: What Happens Next?”

December 19, 2018

Jonathan Schroden writes, “It should provide the special operations community with a chance to review and balance its portfolio of forces for the counter-terrorism mission and other missions aligned to great power competition.”

War on the Rocks: “How Special Ops Can Step It Up”