David Wallsh, Ph.D.
Research Scientist


David Wallsh is an expert in Middle East affairs and international security issues, specializing in alliance politics, security cooperation, and unconventional warfare. His recent work includes a campaign plan for the US Navy in the gray zone and a study on countering competitor efforts to weaken US global alliances, and he is currently working on various projects on Middle East security issues. In 2019, Wallsh served as CNA's field representative to US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.

Before joining CNA, Wallsh served from 2013–2016 as an expert advisor for Middle East security issues in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. In that role, he supported the 2013–2014 Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, counter-ISIS policy, and the US-Jordanian bilateral relationship.

Wallsh earned his PhD and MA in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also holds an MA in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies and is proficient in Arabic.


April 7, 2020

David Wallsh and Eleanore Douglas write, "Combined planning, training, and deployment over extended periods of time provide all parties involved with unparalleled opportunity to test and advance the limits of integration."

CIMSEC: "Cooperative Deployments: An Indispensable Tool for Preparing for the High-End Fight"

February 12, 2020

David Wallsh writes, “In order to stay focused on our long-term priorities, the US government must align its Iran policy with its national security strategy.”

Atlantic Council: “The ‘Maximum Pressure’ Campaign Undermines Trump’s National Security Strategy”

October 4, 2017

David Wallsh writes that the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War “provides an opportunity to highlight…enduring lessons, as well as to apply them to America’s present national security challenges.”

Modern War Institute: “Timeless Lessons From the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War”