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.


September 13, 2018

Jonathan Schroden says that CNA is helping special operations forces “think about what role they might play in [non-counterterrorism] settings.”

Yahoo News: “Special Operations Boom Years May Be Coming to a Close” 

August 30, 2018

Jonathan Schroden, who directs the Special Operations program at the CNA defense think tank, said the changes could be anything from unconventional warfare and information operations to high-risk missions against near peers.”

Al-Monitor: “Pentagon Adjusts War Games to Cope With Iran Threat”

August 15, 2018

Jonathan Schroden says, “From Al-Qaida’s perspective, I don’t know why they would replace senior people in Afghanistan anymore when they are killed when Yemen and Syria are much more permissive for their purposes.”

Politico: “Whatever Happened to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?”

August 14, 2018

Jonathan Schroden says, “The National Defense Strategy has become a bumper sticker, and the bumper sticker is great power conflict.”

Al Monitor: “Pentagon Budget Leaves Uncertain Future for Middle East”

June 12, 2018

Jonathan Schroden says, “Al-Qaeda today is a much larger, more geographically dispersed, in many ways more capable and certainly more resilient organization than it was 17 years ago at 9/11.”

VOA News: “International Edition”

March 6, 2018

Jonathan Schroden says, "There are no precise numbers in Afghanistan, it's the nature of what you're dealing with over there."

Stars and Stripes: "Data on U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts in Afghanistan Doesn't Add Up"