John A. Nagl

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Biographical Details

"Dr. John Nagl is the President of the Center for a New American Security. He is also a member of the Defense Policy Board, a Visiting Professor in the War Studies Department at Kings College of London, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Dr. Nagl is a member of the Joint Force Quarterly Advisory Committee and of the Advisory Board of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, a former Young Leader of the French-American Foundation and the American Council on Germany, and a member of the American Association of Rhodes Scholars.

"Dr. Nagl was a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy Class of 1988 and served as an armor officer in the U.S. Army for 20 years, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His last military assignment was as commander of the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor at Fort Riley, Kansas, training Transition Teams that embed with Iraqi and Afghan units. He led a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and served as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Nagl taught national security studies at West Point’s Department of Social Sciences and in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. He served as a Military Assistant to two Deputy Secretaries of Defense and later worked as a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Nagl also earned a Master of the Military Arts and Sciences Degree from the Command and General Staff College, where he received the George C. Marshall Award as the top graduate. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge by General James Mattis of the United States Marine Corps, under whose leadership he fought in Al Anbar in 2004.

"Dr. Nagl is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and was on the writing team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. His writings have also been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Parameters, Military Review, Joint Force Quarterly, Armed Forces Journal, The Washington Quarterly, and Democracy, among others. He was also profiled in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Magazine. Dr. Nagl has appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Leher, National Public Radio, 60 Minutes, Washington Journal, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has lectured domestically and internationally at military war colleges, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and Defense Policy Board, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, major universities, intelligence agencies, and business forums. " [1]

His wife is Susi Varga.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. John Nagl, Spirit of America, accessed January 14, 2011.