Jonathan Schroden, Ph.D.
Research Program Director
Special Ops Research Coordinator
Dr. Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Center for Stability and Development (CSD), whose mission is to support decision-makers charged with planning, conducting, and assessing/evaluating prevention, stability, and development operations with objective analysis grounded in an understanding of operations. Specifically, CSD focuses on the following:
Development and assessment of foreign security forces (e.g., security cooperation, security force assistance, foreign internal defense, building partner capacity)Conflict prevention, crisis response, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts Terrorism and counterterrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, stability operations, and political, unconventional, and information warfare Assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of security sector programs
Dr. Schroden also directs CNA's Special Operations Program, which focuses on bringing CNA's "full spectrum" research and analysis capabilities to bear on the most complex and challenging issues facing special operations forces (SOF) today and in the future.
Since joining CNA in 2003, Dr. Schroden has deployed or traveled 13 times to Afghanistan (twice at the request of the Commander, ISAF, and once at the request of the Commander, CSTC-A) and twice to Al Anbar, Iraq; has traveled throughout the Middle East; has gotten under way with numerous Navy ships; and has supported Hurricane Katrina disaster relief operations. He served as a strategic advisor to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Multi-National Force–West in Iraq, US Central Command, and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He also served as CNA's first interim field representative to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. Most recently, he directed CNA's assessment of the Trump Administration's South Asia Strategy and an independent review of the US Marine Corps' force design efforts. Dr. Schroden is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University where he lectures on military power and effectiveness.
Dr. Schroden holds PhD and MS degrees from Cornell University and BS degrees from the University of Minnesota–Duluth. His decorations include CNA's Phil E. DePoy Award for Analytic Excellence and the Cornell University Tunis Wentink Award. He has published in academic journals, such as Defense and Security Analysis, the Naval War College Review, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Armed Forces Journal, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He has published online in such venues as War on the Rocks, The National Interest, and the Small Wars Journal. Dr. Schroden is also a frequent commentator on television (e.g., Indus News, France 24), radio (e.g., BBC NewsHour, NPR's Here and Now), podcasts (e.g., WarCast, PopularFront), and print (e.g., The Diplomat, Financial Times, Politico, Stars and Stripes, Voice of America, Reuters, Associated Press, al-Monitor, Military Times). You can follow him on Twitter (@jjschroden) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanschroden).
RECENT NEWSJuly 5, 2020
Jonathan Schroden says, "If the U.S. pulled its [financing]" the way the Soviets cut off Najibullah's government in 1989, the government wouldn't last very long, unless some other external donor stepped in, which seems unlikely."
Lawfare Blog: "Afghanistan Between Negotiations: How the Doha Agreement Will Affect Intra-Afghan Peace"July 3, 2020
Jonathan Schroden says, "The Moscow Process leads to a peace settlement between the Taliban and the Afghan government and then the U.S. leaves."
Voice of America: "Afghan Lawmakers: Russian Support to Taliban No Secret"
Jonathan Schroden writes, "It is clear that for the United States to meet the third part of the agreement, some form of residual uniformed presence will be required in Kabul—at least an embassy security detail and uniformed oversight of security assistance funding."
Lawfare: "Will the United States Really Go to Zero Troops in Afghanistan?"June 10, 2020
Jonathan Schroden says that "the liberated Taliban constitute a 'caste of potential fighters and leaders' and a 'potential threat' to the Afghan authorities."
AFP: "Taliban Released Ready to Return to Combat in Afghanistan"May 31, 2020
Jonathan Schroden says, "The internationally recognized and elected government doesn't have a monopoly on the use of force nor control over the majority of the country."
Radio Free Europe/Free Liberty: "The Taliban, the Government, and Islamic State: Who Controls What in Afghanistan?"May 20, 2020
Jonathan Schroden says, "It is much harder to advise troops and to build the relationships and trust that's required to do this in a foreign country, if you're not standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the partner force."
Stars and Stripes: "Coalition Sticks Mostly to Remote Advising in Afghanistan"
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Independent Assessment of U.S. Government Efforts against Al-Qaeda
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