As far back as its origins in World War II, support to National Resilience and Resistance Operations has long been a core competency of Special Operations Forces (SOF). As expansionist authoritarian powers threaten U.S. partners who resolve to push back against subversion and aggression, SOF must be prepared to support partner resilience initiatives. Furthermore, in the event of armed aggression, Joint SOF must be prepared to transition from support to resilience to support to resistance operations. Such operations will likely be carried out in denied or contested environments and require support from the services and collaboration with joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational partners.


This Forum will provide a platform in which to consider, debate, and explore bold and innovative joint SOF-supported trans-regional approaches to resilience and resistance in the context of compound threats, most especially at key geostrategic locations that are consequential for the preservation of the liberal international order.

Aaron Friedberg
Aaron Friedberg

Aaron L. Friedberg is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1987, and co-director of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs’s Center for International Security Studies. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a Senior Advisor to the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Friedberg is the author of The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895-1905 and In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and its Cold War Grand Strategy, both published by Princeton University Press, and co-editor (with Richard Ellings) of three volumes in the National Bureau of Asian Research's annual "Strategic Asia" series. His third book, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia, was published in 2011 by W.W. Norton and has been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean. His most recent monograph, Beyond Air-Sea Battle: The Debate Over U.S. Military Strategy in Asia was published in May 2014 as part of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Adelphi Paper series. Friedberg’s articles and essays have appeared in a number of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Commentary, The National Interest, The American Interest, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, Survival, and International Security.

In 2001-2002 Friedberg was selected as the first occupant of the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress. He has been a research fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. Dr. Friedberg served from June 2003 to June 2005 as Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs in the office of the Vice President. After leaving government he was appointed to the Defense Policy Board and the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion. Friedberg received his AB in 1978 and his PhD in 1986, both from Harvard University. He is a member of the editorial boards of Joint Forces Quarterly and The Journal of Strategic Studies and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations

Adam Frost
Adam Frost

Mr. Adam Frost is the Senior Vice President for the China and Transformational Exports Program (CTEP) at the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Established by Congress at the end of 2019, the Program exists to support the extensions of loans, guarantees, and insurance at rates and on terms that are fully competitive, to the extent practicable, with those provided by China in order to both directly neutralize competing subsidies provided by China and advance the comparative leadership of the US with respect to China in ten transformational export areas.
Prior to joining EXIM, Adam was the Director of the Office of Commercial and Economic Analysis (OCEA), an Air Force innovation that advances solutions to commercial and economic risks to national security by empowering its partners with the analysis, planning, and access they need to act. He joined OCEA after serving as the Deputy Division Chief and a Senior Wargame Analyst with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-8 Studies, Analysis and Gaming Division (SAGD) where he had the privilege to lead the team that elevated the art of pol-mil wargaming to a national tool for Cabinet-level policymakers. He regularly facilitated wargames at the Principals and Deputies committees.

Brian Petit
Brian Petit

Brian S. Petit is an adjunct lecturer for the Joint Special Operations University. He teaches JSOU’s National Resistance Course for US and international partners. Brian is a former US Army Special Forces Colonel (retired in 2017) with command tours in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, The Philippines, Europe, and Africa. In 2013, Colonel Petit published Going Big by Getting Small: The Application of Operational Art by Special Operations in Phase Zero. His book was on the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commanding General’s 2015 recommended reading list and is in use in both military and academic curricula. He has published in Special Warfare, Military Review, Small Wars Journal, and War on the Rocks. He is married with three adult sons. The Petits live in Salida, Colorado.

Brock Blomberg
Brock Blomberg

Brock Blomberg, the seventh President of California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), is a passionate advocate for higher education and wellness. As a macroeconomist with expertise in the economics of terrorism, Blomberg’s scholarship has forged connections between economics, politics, and philosophy.
Blomberg was a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush and was the U.S. Representative to the Economic Committee for Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation. He also served at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Blomberg served in the military for eight years and graduated magna cum laude at the University of Tampa where he received his master’s degree. He holds a doctorate in Economics from Johns Hopkins University. 

Charlie Black
Charlie Black

Charlie Black is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Xundis Global, LLC a niche trans-disciplinary consultancy focused on helping individuals and organizations successfully navigate complexity and change. He is a retired Marine Corps Officer with over 30 years of diverse experience in and out of uniform with conventional, special operations, interagency and international organizations. He currently serves as a Non-Resident Fellow at Joint Special Operations University teaching and conducting research on the future of SOF. As a professional member of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, he provides asymmetric capabilities and innovation expertise to national priority projects. He also serves as a board advisor to several private sector corporations.

 

Chris Marsh
Chris Marsh

Dr. Marsh is director of the department of research & analysis in the Institute of SOF Strategic Studies at the Joint Special Operations University, USSOCOM. He conducts research on global special operations forces with a particular focus on Russian SOF, including strategy and foreign policy.  He also serves as editor of Special Operations Journal, published by Routledge. Prior to joining JSOU, Marsh was a Professor of National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). Dr. Marsh holds the Ph.D. in political science from the University of Connecticut, in addition to having completed graduate study at Moscow State University. He conducted much of his dissertation research at the Russian Academy of Science, and later was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. Dr. Marsh was also a visiting fellow at Tsinghua University (Beijing) in 2001, where he conducted research on political and social change in China. Dr. Marsh is the author of five books, including Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors, and Sectors, co-authored with Nikolas Gvosdev of the Naval War College. Dr. Marsh has also published more than 70 journal articles and chapters in edited collections.

Colonel Lans
Colonel Lans

Colonel Lans is the active commanding officer of one of the French Special Forces units specialised in Behind the Lines and Covert operations, especially through deep reconnaissance and surveillance, and HUMINT skills. He joined his unit 20 years ago, and has since been part of the majority of French SOF deployments overseas, from small team leader to task group commander: Western and Northern Africa, Sahel, Levant, Balkans, Caucasus, Afghanistan. Having also served in ministerial office, SOF HQ and agencies, he has been developing competencies and expertise in strategic planning for preventive special operations, coordination with national diplomatic stakes, and operational integration with few confident allies. His academic achievements include 2 master degrees in International Relations, and in Strategic Studies (MMAS US Army CGSC). 

Commander Bruno
Commander Bruno

Commander Bruno joined the French navy in 2003, as a Navy Rifleman.
His core abilities and experience are joint and combined Special Forces operations. He acquired these abilities from the initial commando course in Lorient, then from two years as squad leader in the commando DE PENFENTENYO, one year of combat diver course in 2011 and, finally, six years in commando HUBERT as a squad leader, operation officer, executive officer then commanding officer.
These assignments gave him the opportunity to work along with British and American troops and to practice operational English, especially during close-air-support operations in the field or during joint staff work prior to combined missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sahel.
Apart from that very specific domain, he had the opportunity to be assigned on various ships such as the amphibious ship SIROCO in 2008 and later in 2016-2018 as the J1 officer of the LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) MISTRAL. These assignments allowed him to build a different perspective on French Navy and leadership, and were genuine opportunities to widen his commanding skills.
After the War College, he wants to be given greater responsibilities in tactical SF operations (e.g. at a JFC HQ level). In the long term, he wants to navigate back aboard French navy ships, which from his perspective is the core business of any navy officer, whatever his trade is. He is currently the director of the cadet’s Naval academy onboard LHD MISTRAL.

Dave Ellis
Dave Ellis

Dr. David C. Ellis is a Resident Senior Fellow at JSOU (government contractor employed by METIS Solutions). He holds a doctorate in international relations and comparative politics from the University of Florida. Dr. Ellis’s research on democratization and development in identity conflict spans over two decades. His interests in peacekeeping, conflict resolution, development, and atrocity in ethnic conflict focused his doctoral research on identity, social movements, organization and social learning theory, and economic growth theory. Dr. Ellis served as an intelligence analyst in the USSOCOM J2, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Special Operations Forces from 2010–2011, and joined JSOU in 2016. His current research focuses on the intersection of complexity, organizational learning within the special operations community, and integrated campaigning.

Duncan Depledge
Duncan Depledge

Dr. Duncan Depledge is a lecturer in Geopolitics and Security at Loughborough University. He is the author of Britain and the Arctic (Palgrave, 2018) and more than a dozen academic articles and book chapters on the changing geopolitics of the Far North. He was the first director of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Polar Regions (2015−19). From 2017−18, he served as special adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee during its inquiry on ‘Defence in the Arctic’. He has also served as a consultant to the UK Ministry of Defence. He is an associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Emilie Cleret
Emilie Cleret

Emilie Alice Cleret is a Franco-British academic and educator, who specializes in transformative pedagogy for leaders. She is currently the Head of the English Studies Department for French Higher Military Education, where she has created and manages academic programs for both the Ecole de Guerre - the French War College - and the Centre des hautes études militaires. She has dedicated her 21-year-career to designing and launching English-language programs for military leadership and managing their teaching and administrative teams, forging links between France, the US and the UK, and leading seminars on debating, public speaking, networking, and transformative learning. After two years of undergraduate study at the illustrious Maison d’Education de la Légion d’Honneur, she completed her Bachelor’s in British Literature and History and her Master’s (dissertation on Sir Walter Scott) at La Sorbonne Paris IV, before receiving her teaching certification from the French Ministry of National Education. She taught English as a second language in the French public education system for six years before taking on a role as teacher and course designer at the Army NCO Basic Training Academy in France. She has been the French representative to the NATO Bureau of International Language Coordination (BILC) since 2017 and manages multiple crucial partnerships between France and the US, including with RUSI, the State Department - Global Engagement Center, the National Defense University - PRISM, the Institute for State Effectiveness and George Washington University. She is the recipient of the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, the author of multiple articles on transformative learning and has given talks on leadership, critical thinking in education, and transformative pedagogy at the NATO BILC annual seminar, Columbia University, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, among other venues.

Evan Ellis
Evan Ellis

Dr. Evan Ellis is a research professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, with a focus on the region’s relationships with China and other non-Western Hemisphere actors, as well as transnational organized crime and populism in the region.

Dr. Ellis has published over 300 works, including the 2009 book China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores, the 2013 book The Strategic Dimension of Chinese Engagement with Latin America, the 2014 book, China on the Ground in Latin America, and the 2018 book, Transnational Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is currently under contract for his 5th book, China Engages Latin America: Distorting Development and Democracy?


Graham Shellenberger
Graham Shellenberger

            Graham Shellenberger leads the Global Team at Miburo, a strategic analysis and consulting company specializing in the detection, analysis, and countering of foreign malign influence worldwide.

His work focuses on foreign influence, social media manipulation, and conspiracy theories. During the 2020 U.S. Election, Graham’s team at Miburo tracked and modeled influence operations from Russia, China, and Iran. As a consultant, Graham advises the Department of Defense and members of the Intelligence community on identifying and countering foreign malign influence worldwide.


Before his work in the private sector, Graham served as a U.S. Army infantry officer and as a psychological operations officer, supporting Special Operation Command-Europe and U.S. Cyber Command. 



Greg Collins
Greg Collins

Dr. Greg Collins is Associate Vice President for Resilience and International Development and Research Professor at the University of Arizona.  Dr. Collins previously served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator (Senior Executive Service) at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where he led the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. In that role he provided strategic vision and oversight for the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative and USAID’s efforts to build resilience in areas of recurrent crises.  Greg also served as USAID’s first Resilience Coordinator and, previously, the founding Director of USAID’s Center for Resilience.  He is a globally recognized thought leader on resilience and played a lead role elevating resilience in USAID and international development.

Prior to USAID in 2010, Greg spent over a decade as a analyst and strategic advisor for a variety United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations, including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, UN World Food Programme, UNICEF, and CARE International.  He has extensive experience living and working throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean.  He earned his PhD in Economic Sociology from the UC Davis, his MPH from Tulane University, and his BA in Anthropology from the UC Davis.

Isaiah Wilson
Isaiah Wilson

Dr. Isaiah (Ike) Wilson III, PhD is the President of the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU). He is a master strategist and a leading advocate for change in America’s concepts of and approaches to security and defense policy, and affairs of war and peace. A decorated combat veteran, former army aviator, and strategist, he most recently served as Director (Chief), Commander’s Initiatives Group, for the Commander, U.S. Central Command. A full professor of political science, Dr. Wilson formerly served as a professor and academic program director at West Point, where he also founded the West Point Grand Strategy Program. He has also taught extensively at the undergraduate and graduate levels at a number of prestigious colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Yale University, George Washington University, and the National War College. Prior to his appointment with U.S. Special Operations Command, Dr. Wilson was the Director of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) and USAWC Press. Dr. Wilson has numerous publications to his credit, including, Thinking Beyond War: Civil-Military Relations and Why America Fails to Win the Peace. Dr. Wilson is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an International Affairs Fellow with New America.  He also serves as a professor of practice with the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. 

Janis Berzins
Janis Berzins

Dr. Berzins is the director of the Center for Security and Strategic Research (CSSR) at the National Defense Academy of Latvia. He is one of the leading specialists on Russian military strategy in the world. His work focuses on the juxtaposition between the theoretical developments of Russian Military Thought and the operational reality on the ground. This includes both the hybrid and conventional aspects of warfare, such as influence, information, and psychological operations. Dr. Berzins has lectured as a guest in the United States, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Singapore, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia and Lithuania at various academic and defense institutions. They include the New York University, the Johns Hopkins University, the George C. Marshall Center European Center for Security Studies, the Swedish Defense University, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, the Norwegian Military Academy, the US Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the NATO’s Special Operations Command Europe, the NATO/SHAPE Brunssum Headquarters, among others.
Dr. Berzins has advised the United Kingdom House of Commons’ Defense Select Committee, the Parliamednt of Singapore, the Swedish Government and the Polish Government. He has advised the Ministry of Defense of Singapore about Strategic Communications and influence, information, and psychological operations. He has also provided expertise about Russia’s doctrine for the US Department of Defense and Russia's strategic issues for the private sector. 

Janno Mark
Janno Mark

Born in Lihula, a small town on the west coast of Estonia, LTC Janno Mark joined the Estonian Defense Forces in 1995 as an infantry officer. He commanded operations at the squadron level in Iraq (OIF), as part of the 2-12 CAV (US Army) in 2004. LTC Mark earned a Master’s Degree from the Estonian National Defense Academy, followed by deployment to Afghanistan as the Estonian Contingent Commander. In 2009, he assumed command of the Viru Infantry Battalion, North-East Defense Region. After completion of Battalion Command, he was appointed as MA to the CHOD prior to selection for CGSC and SAMS. Subsequently, he served as Commander of the Northern Defense District. He has also graduated from the Estonian Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree. More recently, he studied at the Baltic Defense College at Higher Command Studies Course. Upon graduation, he was appointed to his current position as chief of G5 at the Defense League HQ. LTC Mark is married to Marit who is a doctor of internal medicine and they have four children Johann, Sandra, Carmen and Robert.

Jaroslaw Jablonski
Jaroslaw Jablonski

Colonel Jaroslaw Jablonski has been a member of the Polish Special Forces since 2002. COL Jablonski received his MA in defense analysis from the US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 2009 and a PhD in information and knowledge management in 2012. COL Jablonski has a combined more than 40 months of deployment time to Balkans, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Afghanistan in support of the ISAF. At present he serves as POLSOF Exchange Officer in USSOCOM.

Katie Crombe
Katie Crombe

Lt Col Katie Crombe has served in a variety of strategy and planning roles across the Middle East and currently serves at U.S. Special Operations Command Central as the Director of Strategy and Plans. Prior to this assignment, Katie served at U.S. Central Command, where she led a planning team charged with the D-ISIS campaign plan within the strategy and plans directorate prior to being selected as the CENTCOM commander’s aide-de-camp. Katie also spent three years working at the U.S Embassy in Amman, Jordan overseeing bilateral, coalition, and interagency plans, culminating with serving as the planning adviser to the Jordanian Chief of Defense for the Syria crisis and initial operations to combat ISIS along the Jordanian border.  Katie also served as an exchange officer in the United Kingdom’s Operational Headquarters, leading the team in development of a new U.K. theater strategy for the Middle East.

Kelly Hicks
Kelly Hicks

LTC (Ret) Kelly Hicks received a commission upon graduation from college and subsequently served as an Officer in US Army Special Forces. His service of 21 years included assignments as a company commander in Korea; and as an A-Team leader operating in Latin America, Korea, Okinawa Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. Following completion of Chinese language studies at the MOD-UK language school in Hong Kong, and a Master’s degree in China-US relations at Harvard University, LTC (Ret) Hicks taught a graduate level course in Asia Regional Studies, then commanded the Special Operations Language School, Special Warfare Training Center at Fort Bragg. Following Command and Staff College he served as Operations Officer for 1st Special Forces Group, coordinating counter-narcotics operations in Asia and at the US Southern Border, with DEA and others, until his selection for the Defense Attaché System in 1995. From 1995 to 2000, LTC (Ret) Hicks served as the Assistant Army Attaché and Army Attaché in Hong Kong, during the period prior and subse­quent to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese Sovereignty. Upon retirement from the Army, LTC (Ret) Hicks worked for 18 years as an Executive Director in Security, Crisis Management and Business Continuity, first for Goldman Sachs Hong Kong, then Deutsche Bank on Wall Street, then Verizon (internationally) through 2018. LTC (Ret) Hicks now resides in the Tampa, Florida area, teaching a seminar course on China as a global competitor at the Joint Special Operations University, Tampa; as well as consulting in the areas of anti-fraud, cyber security and physical security for China/Asia and Latin America.

Kimberly Cochrane Field
Kimberly Cochrane Field

Kimberly Cochrane Field, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Director for Plans, Policy, Strategy, Concepts, and Doctrine at United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. In this position, Ms. Field is responsible for developing special operations strategy and leading the development and implementation of policy directly supporting global operations to achieve national defense objectives.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Field was Executive Director of the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy and Professor of the Practice at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University in College Station Texas. In addition, she was the Countering Violent Extremism Director at Creative Associates, a USAID implementing partner, and most recently, the strategic advisor to the commander of forces in Afghanistan.

 A graduate of the United States Military Academy, she concentrated in Russian Studies. Ms. Field retired from the United States Army in 2015 as a Brigadier General, having served tours of duty in Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. After military retirement, Ms. Field became a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO). Her other assignments include: Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point; Chief of Plans and Analysis at the George C. Marshall Center; Legislative Strategist for the Army; and Executive Officer to the Commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Afghanistan. Ms. Field also served two tours with the Department of State, first as a Council of Foreign Relations Fellow at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and then as the senior military advisor in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), which evolved into CSO

Lawrence Butler
Lawrence Butler

Ambassador Lawrence E. Butler served 40 years with the Foreign Service, including White House/NSC, NATO, USEUCOM, USF-Iraq, UN, and OSCE details. A Balkans expert, he served as chief of mission in the Former Yugoslavia and North Macedonia, as the UN’s second in command of the High Representative’s Office in Bosnia, and in 1993, an OSCE field office head in Kosovo. He then shifted to Iraq/Afghanistan, first as State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq during the 2007-8 surge, then NATO’s SACEUR’s POLAD covering Afghanistan and Kosovo, and finally as GEN Austin’s POLAD in Iraq for Operation New Dawn. Finally, he the Civilian Deputy to the Commander, USEUCOM in Germany. Earlier, he was President Clinton’s lead NSC director for the 1998 Northern Irish peace accords. Back at the State Department he was the Senior Coordinator for Knowledge Management, a senior inspector/team leader, and deputy office director for the European Union. Early in his career he was focused on Russia/USSR as part of the Cold War, serving in Finland and communist Bulgaria. Post-Foreign Service, he provides interagency and NATO SME support to the U.S. military for academics and exercises, both conventional and special operations. Ambassador Butler speaks Finnish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, and Macedonian, and can hold his own in Serbian/Croatian, Spanish, and Danish/Swedish. He holds a BA from Bowdoin College in Maine, and is a graduate alumnus of Michigan’s MBA program and Princeton’s international affairs school. He is an Army brat, born at Fort Benning, and served as a Viet Cong role player for Robin Sage while in Jr High at Fort Bragg.

Liam Collins
Liam Collins

Liam Collins is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces colonel who conducted operational deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, South America, the Horn of Africa, and Bosnia. He was the founding director of the Modern War Institute at West Point, former director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, a fellow at New America, and a permanent member with the Council on Foreign Relations. Collins’ work has been cited by the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, the White House press secretary, the New York Times, the Associated Press, CNN, ABC News, Fox News, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of U.S Counterterrorism and Irregular Warfare Operations and holds a PhD from Princeton University.

LTC Luigi
LTC Luigi

LTC Luigi is currently the assistant of the officer in charge of international engagement of the Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS), the French SOCOM.
LTC Luigi joined the French Army in 1990. His career has been spent in mechanized infantry and in special operations, including multiple deployments in support of operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, various African countries and Haïti as well as to French overseas territories, in command, advisory, liaison, homeland defence and staff positions in both conventional and SOF headquarters.
He has also been seconded for three years to the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) in Mons as J5 planner and, during five years, to the operations directorate of the EU Military Staff in Brussels as SOF advisor and XO to the operations’ director.
LTC Luigi holds a Master in International Relations from the Paris XII University and has a keen interest in European Military History of the 20th Century.

Marius Kristiansen
Marius Kristiansen

LTC Marius Kristiansen is currently serving as the Norwegian Exchange Officer at USSOCOM J3-International Division.

LTC Marius Kristiansen is a graduate of the Norwegian Military Academy (Bachelor-degree in Land Warfare and Leadership), University of St. Andrews (Advanced Certificate Program in Terrorism Studies), Naval Postgraduate School (MSc in Defence Analysis – Irregular Warfare) and United States Marine Corps Command and General staffcollege.


His military service began in the Norwegian Navy before he transitioned to the Norwegian Army and FSK/NORSOC. Throughout the last 18 years he has served at every level within the NORSOC-organization, and he has several combat deployments in south-east Asia, Sahel and the Middle-East. LTC Kristiansen has throughout his service also been involved in enhancing security-cooperation on behalf of Norway and other allies and partners. Also, he has been working with issues like diversity in the military, foreign fighters, military ethics and how technological change might affect the security environment in an overall competitive environment. 


Michael Toth
Michael Toth

Mr Michael Toth is the current Middle East Branch Chief in the SOCOM J51. He is a retired Special Force Sergeant Major who has served in a variety of Special Forces Assignments with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as deployments in the Baltics, Balkans, Lebanon and throughout Europe. He has graduated from multiple military courses and has earned numerous civilian and military awards and decorations. Mike has served as a staff officer in the SOCOM J5 as an Iran planner since 2009. He has been the J51 Middle East Branch Chief since 2012.

Otto Fiala
Otto Fiala

Otto C. Fiala, Ph.D., J.D. is the task lead, analyst and editor for the Sensitive Activities Research and Development team at USASOC-G3X-SA, employed by Lukos LLC., and is also a research associate at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.  His most recent article was published last month in Taylor & Francis’ Special Operations Journal, entitled; Resistance Resurgent:  Resurrecting a Method of Irregular Warfare in Great Power Competition. Immediately prior, he was a Resistance and Resilience planner at SOCEUR, and the author and chief editor of the Resistance Operating Concept (ROC). He also served as a Senior Counterintelligence Analyst at USEUCOM-J2X and as USAFRICOM's Joint Doctrine Coordinator. Dr. Fiala served in the Army’s Active Component, Army National Guard and Army Reserve as an Infantry officer and later as a Civil Affairs officer, deployed to Iraq (2004) and Georgia (2008) and commanded in the ranks of Captain through Colonel, retiring as an Army Reserve Civil Affairs Officer. He holds a Doctorate in International Relations, a Juris Doctorate, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics (dual major). He practiced criminal and domestic relations law and remains admitted to the bars of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of New York

Peter Cloutier
Peter Cloutier

Peter Cloutier is the new Joint Special Operations University Professor for Development and Human Security.  He is a career Foreign Service Officer in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) having served as Office Director for programs in Afghanistan, Mozambique, Angola and Timor-Leste (East Timor). He has devoted much of his Foreign Service career to developing innovative strategies and advancing interagency partnerships in a range of technical fields. He is a successful and skilled negotiator with host country governments, in sector coordination bodies, and within the interagency. He has a track record for leading teams to achieve ambitious results in multiple technical areas. He is an accomplished writer and presenter, as evidenced by authoring a USAID country strategy and presenting numerous interagency proposals and presentations to senior USG decision makers. With 15 years overseas with USAID, he has demonstrated consistent leadership, accountability and impact. USAID has recognized his sustained performance with three Superior Honor Awards as a result.

Peter Musselman
Peter Musselman

Master Chief Musselman assumed the duties as Senior Enlisted Leader of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe in August 2020. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1989, attended Basic Training at Parris Island, SC and deployed with the First Marine Division in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He conducted a lateral transfer to the United States Navy in 1992 attending Basic Training at RTC Orlando, FL and Aircrew Survival Equipmentman “A” school at NAS Millington, TN. Following Boot Camp and “A” school he was assigned to Navy Personnel Command in Washington D.C. while awaiting assignment to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training.

Upon selection to Master Chief Petty Officer in 2012 he was assigned to Headquarters Special Operations Command Central, MacDill AFB Tampa, FL, as the Operations Directorate Senior Enlisted Leader and Navy Element Senior Enlisted Leader. He returned to SEAL Team TEN in JAN 2014 and completed two deployments to the USAFRICOM Theater of Operations as the SOTF-East Africa Operations Master Chief and Command Master Chief. Following the deployments, he assumed duties as Command Master Chief of Naval Special Warfare Unit TWO in July 2018. Master Chief Musselman is a graduate of the Joint Special Operations Senior Enlisted Academy, the Joint Special Operations Senior Enlisted Summit course and the United States Navy Command Master Chief and Chief of the Boat course.



Russ Howard
Russ Howard

Brigadier General (retired) Russell Howard is a rancher and the president of Howard’s Consulting Services. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University. He currently consults for Audia Corporation in Washington, Pennsylvania and has served as an advisor to several organizations including Laser Shot, in Houston, Texas; Development Alternatives Incorporated in Bethesda, Maryland; and the Home Team Academy in Singapore.

Previously BG Howard was the Director of the Jebsen Center for Counterterrorism studies at the Fletcher School in Medford, Massachusetts. BG Howard retired from the Army as Head of the Department of Social Sciences and the founding director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. His previous positions include Deputy Department Head of the Department of Social Sciences, Army Chief of Staff Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and Commander of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Washington. Other past assignments include Assistant to the Special Representative to the Secretary General during UNOSOM II in Somalia, Deputy Chief of Staff for I Corps, and Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for the Combined Joint Task Force Haiti/Haitian Advisory Group. Previously, General Howard was Commander of 3d Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also served as the Administrative Assistant to Admiral Stansfield Turner and as a Special Assistant to General Max Thurman, the Commander of SOUTHCOM.

As a newly commissioned officer, General Howard served as an “A” Detachment Commander in the 7th Special Forces Group from 1970 to 1972. He left the active component and then served in the U. S. Army Reserve from 1972 to 1980. During this period he served as an Overseas Manager, American International Underwriters, Melbourne, Australia, and China Tour Manager for Canadian Pacific Airlines. He was recalled to active duty in 1980, and served initially in Korea as an Infantry Company Commander. Subsequent assignments included Classified Project Officer, U.S. Army 1st Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, and Operations Officer and Company Commander, 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa, Japan.

General Howard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from San Jose State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts degree in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard University. General Howard was a Senior Service College Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He also did graduate and language studies at Taiwan’s National Chengchi (Political and Economic) University in Taipei, Taiwan. General Howard speaks Chinese (Mandarin) and German.

Samuel Bendett
Samuel Bendett

Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His work involves research on the Russian defense and technology developments, unmanned and autonomous military systems and Artificial Intelligence, as well as Russian military capabilities and decision-making during crises. He is a Member of CNA’s Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence, and an honorary “Mad Scientist” with the USARMY TRADOC’s Mad Scientist Initiative. He is also a Russian military autonomy and AI SME for the DOD’s Defense Systems Information Analysis Center.

Prior to joining CNA, Mr. Bendett worked at the National Defense University on emerging and disruptive technologies for the Department of Defense response in domestic and international crisis situations. His previous experience includes working for US Congress, private sector and non-profit organizations on foreign policy, international conflict resolution, defense and security issues. 

Mr. Bendett’s analyses, views and commentary on Russian military robotics, unmanned systems and Artificial Intelligence capabilities appear in the Forbes, C4ISRnet, DefenseOne, War on the Rocks, Breaking Defense, The National Interest and The Strategy Bridge. Between 2008 and 2016, he was a foreign policy and international affairs contributor to the RealClearWorld.com blog. Samuel Bendett received his M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and B.A. in Politics and English from Brandeis University. He has native fluency in Russian.


Scott Smitson
Scott Smitson

Dr. Scott Smitson, is a retired Army Strategist who most recently served in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) J5 as the Strategy Branch Chief. He previously served in the Joint Staff J8, responsible for overseeing numerous efforts related to Global Integration, and was the Director of the Chairman’s Net Assessment on Iran. From 2014-2016 he was a member of the US CENTCOM Commander’s Action Group (CAG), where he served as a Strategic Advisor for key theater-strategic issues and initiatives. His operational experiences include deployments in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom, service as the UN Commander’s representative for Armistice issues in the Korean DMZ, and Company Command in 2nd Infantry Division. From 2013-2014, he was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow (CFR IAF) where he served as a US-UK Strategic Planner in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.

Dr. Smitson served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy from 2010-2013, and was an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He has also taught at the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the Ohio State University. Dr. Smitson earned a Joint PhD in Political Science and Public Policy from Indiana University’s School of Environmental and Public Affairs (SPEA) as well as a MA in Political Science. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate at the Ohio State University. His publications include The Road to Good Intentions: British Nation-Building in Aden,  “An American in Her Majesty’s Ministry of Defence” (War on the Rocks), “Solving America's Gray-Zone Puzzle” (Parameters), “After Mosul: Enlarging the Context of the Syria-Iraq Conflict(s)” (New America), and “The Compound Security Dilemma: Threats at the Nexus of War and Peace” (Parameters).

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the senior advisor for strategic operations and integration to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-2 and G-3/5/7. In that capacity, he also serves as the executive director of the Army Strategy Board. Scott spent thirty years as an armored cavalry officer. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Scott established the Russia Strategic Initiative in EUCOM. In that role, Scott helped the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Supreme Allied Commander NATO re-orient U.S. and allied strategy in the face of renewed Russian aggression. He also led the effort to manage escalation risks with Russia during the April 2017 strikes into Syria. In his final assignment, Scott helped establish the U.S. Army Strategy Support Element. While there, he built the Army Strategy Board to enable the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army to integrate sensitive analysis into critical strategic choices. He received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote on Russian New Type Warfare and deterrence failure. Scott’s research interests include deterrence, U.S., Russian, and Chinese security policy, and how the information era influences warfare, stability, and deterrence,

Stephanie Pezard
Stephanie Pezard

Dr. Stephanie Pezard is a Senior Political Scientist and Associate Director of the Defense and Political Science Department at the RAND Corporation, where her research focuses on Arctic security and governance; European defense and security issues; NATO and transatlantic relations; deterrence and escalation; security cooperation; gray zone threats; and military interventions and nation-building. Prior to joining RAND, Dr. Pezard was a Researcher with the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, focusing on security issues in post-conflict settings. She was also a Visiting Scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, New York and a Transatlantic Post-Doctoral Fellow for International Relations and Security (TAPIR) at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS/Johns Hopkins University and the RAND Corporation. She holds an MA in Contemporary History from the French Institute of Political Science (Sciences-Po) in Paris and a Ph.D. in International Relations (Political Science) from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Timothy Boehmer
Timothy Boehmer

Timothy B. Boehmer is from Alta Vista, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1988 and after attending Engineman “A” School, received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition School, where he graduated with Class 165.

Master Chief Boehmer has served in a wide range of diverse assignments to include duties as a SEAL Operator aboard SEAL Team FOUR, instructor at Naval Special Warfare Center Detachment Yuma, Platoon Leading Petty Officer (LPO) and Platoon Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) while stationed at SEAL Team EIGHT, and Task Unit LCPO at SEAL Team TWO, a Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment Team LCPO while stationed at Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Operations Master Chief and Command Master Chief at SEAL Team EIGHT. His follow-on assignments were as Naval SpecialWarfare Group TWO where he was the Operations Master Chief Senior Enlisted Advisor to Naval Special Warfare Unit TEN and Special Operations Command Forward-East Africa. His most recent tour was as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Special Operations Command Korea.

Tony Fletcher
Tony Fletcher

Lieutenant General Tony Fletcher currently serves as the 7th Commander of NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ) at SHAPE, Belgium. Prior to assuming command of NSHQ, General Fletcher served as the Deputy Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Lieutenant General Fletcher began his career in the 197th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia, and has led Soldiers and Joint teammates in Infantry and Special Operations units in the United States, South America, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A career Special Forces officer, he has commanded at the Detachment, Company, Battalion, and Group levels, including command of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

As a General Officer, his assignments include Deputy Commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan from 2016-2017, Assistant Commanding General for Support, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) in 2017, Director of Strategy, Policy, and Plans (J5) at United States Southern Command from 2017-2018, and Commander of Special Operations Command South from 2018-2020.

Lieutenant General Fletcher was born in South Carolina and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1989. He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from West Point and a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the Marine Corps War College. He and his wife, Shirley, have two children.

Scene setter: Resilience and Resistance at the Nexus of Compound Security, Dr. Isaiah "Ike" Wilson III, JSOU President





Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Keynote Speaker - LTG Antonio Fletcher, Commander, NATO Special Operations Headquarters


Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 1: SOF Support to Resilience and Resistance Across the Four Ages of SOF


Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.


Panel 2: A View from Spykman's Rimlands: Resilience and Resistance in the Three B's (Baltics, Balkans and the Black Sea)


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 2 - A View from Spykman’s Rimlands: Resilience and Resistance in the three B’s (Baltics, Balkans, and The Black Sea): Moderator: COL (Ret) Scott Gerber Panelists: Mr. Graham Shellenberger, Dr. Christopher Marsh, and Colonel (Ret) Brian Petit Day 1, 8 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 3: Countering Disruptor States in Mackinder's Pivot Area


SOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 3 - Countering Disruptor States in Mackinder’s Pivot Area: Moderator: Dr. Dave Ellis, JSOU Panelists: Mr. Kelly Hicks, Mr. Samuel Bendett, and SGM (Ret) Mike Toth Day 1, 8 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 4: Coercive Gradualism at Mahan's Strategic Chokepoints: Understanding Adversary Approaches for Positional Advantage


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 4 - Coercive Gradualism at Mahan’s Strategic Chokepoints: Understanding Adversary Approaches for Positional Advantage Moderator: Dr. Aaron Friedberg Panelists: Dr. Duncan Depledge, Dr. Stephanie Pezard, Dr. R. Evan Ellis and LTC Katie Crombe Day 1, 8 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.


Panel 5: Strategic Cultures of Resilience and Resistance: Ally and Partner Perspectives


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 5 - Strategic Cultures of Resilience and Resistance - Ally and Partner Perspectives Moderator: COL Jaroslav Jablonski Panelists: LTC Janno Märk, LTC Marius Kristiansen, and Dr. Janis Berzins Day 2, 9 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 6: Interagency Approaches


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 6 - Interagency Approach Moderator: Mr. Peter Cloutier Panelists: Mr. Greg Collins and AMB (Ret) Lawrence Butler Day 2, 9 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 7: Countering Threat Finance: Financing Resistance and Resilience Programs


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 7 - Countering Threat Finance: Financing Resistance and Resilience Programs Moderator: BG (Ret) Russ Howard Panelists: Mr. Daniel Egel, Dr. Brock Blomberg and Mr. Adam Frost Day 2, 9 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.

Panel 8: SOF Support to Integrated Deterrence


JSOU SOF Q1 Forum - Panel 8 - SOF Support to Integrated Deterrence Moderator: Dr. Scott Smitson Panelists: Mr. Charlie Black, and Dr. Isaiah “Ike" Wilson Ill Day 2, 9 December 2021. Opinions in this forum are those of the presenters and may not necessarily be the views of U.S. Government, Department of Defense, United States Special Operations Command, and the Joint Special Operations University.