About this event

The Joint Special Operations University is proud to present a Lunchtime talk on Irregular Warfare in Strategic Competition on Tuesday 17 January 2023 from 11:30AM-1:00PM EST in-person at the JSOU Eagle Claw Auditorium.  

This event is open to SOCOM, JSOU, and CENTCOM personnel with base access.  To secure attendance to this in-person event, you must be registered by 4:00PM EST on 11 January 2023. 

What: Lunchtime Talk on Irregular Warfare in Strategic Competition
When: 17 January 2023 from 11:30AM until 1:00PM EST
Where: In-person at the JSOU Eagle Claw Auditorium 
Audience: Open to SOCOM, JSOU, and CENTCOM personnel with base access
Why: Engage 
SOF practitioners in critical thinking about irregular warfare and its role in strategic competition. The event is focused on moving beyond mere rhetoric on integrated deterrence, strategic competition, and irregular warfare and getting practitioners to think about irregular warfare and how might it look in strategic competition.

Guest Speakers: 

  • Dr. Ken Gleiman, COL (Ret.), Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program 
  • Dr. Tom Marks, Distinguished Professor and Major General Edward G. Lansdale Chair of Irregular Warfighting Strategy, College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University 
  • Dr. David Ucko, Professor and Department Chair at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University 

Unable to attend?  This Lunchtime Talk will be posted to the ThinkJSOU YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@ThinkJSOU
Unable to attend and have a question for the guest speakers?  Please submit all question to ThinkJSOU@jsou.edu


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Dr David Ucko
Dr David Ucko

David H. Ucko, Ph.D., is professor and department chair at the College of International Security Affairs (CISA) of the National Defense University, Washington DC. He is also the Director of the Regional Defense Fellowship Program (RDFP), focused on irregular warfare education and partnership capacity building. Dr Ucko is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a senior visiting fellow at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.

Dr Ucko has published several books on counterinsurgency, war-to-peace transition, civil wars, and military intervention. Most recently, he authored The Insurgent's Dilemma: A Struggle to Prevail (Hurst / Oxford University Press, 2022). His publications also include a wide variety of peer-reviewed articles on political violence, strategy, and irregular warfare.

Dr Ucko was previously program coordinator and research fellow for the Conflict, Security & Development Research Group at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. He has also held visiting fellowships and research positions at a variety of think-tanks, including the RAND Corporation in Washington DC, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in both in DC and in London. At IISS, he worked as a Deputy Defense Analyst for armed conflict and helped create and develop the Armed Conflict Database, an online and interactive repository of information on conflict worldwide.

Dr Ucko obtained his Ph.D. at the Department of War Studies in 2007, with a thesis examining the US military's institutional learning of counterinsurgency in the 2001-07 period. In 2001, he was awarded a First Class BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and, in 2004 a Master's at the Department of War Studies.

Jan Gleiman
Jan Gleiman

Dr. Jan K. Gleiman (Ken) is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. He is also the President of the Army Strategist Association, a recently retired U.S. Army Colonel, and a consultant in U.S National Security.

Professor Jan Kenneth Gleiman ("Ken") is a recently retired U.S. Army Colonel. He is currently the President of the Army Strategist Association (ASA) (Non-Profit) and the Vice President for Strategy and Government Operations at Inspirata Consulting in Arlington, VA. He is a former Army Ranger, Green Beret, and Strategic Planner.

Professor Gleiman began his military career as an infantry officer after graduating from Boston University with a degree in International Relations and completing the ROTC program as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1994. 

After completing infantry training and Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he served as a Platoon Leader first in Korea and then with the 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2000, he completed Special Forces training and married Ashley Sorrell of Birmingham, Alabama and together they moved to Okinawa, Japan. Assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), he served as a Detachment Commander and Assistant Operations Officer with multiple deployments throughout East and Southeast Asia. After September 11, 2001, he commanded a detachment in the Combatant Commander’s In-Extremis Force (CIF) and led an advise/assist mission in the Sulu Archipelago as part of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. 

The Army subsequently selected him for duty in the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of the Joint Staff Internship program. While in this program, he served on the Joint Staff in the J3 Special Operations Division (J3-SOD), in Afghanistan at the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) headquarters, and as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Peter Schoomaker. During this time, he earned a masters degree from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. He then returned to Special Operations at Fort Bragg, deploying to Iraq in 2007 prior to returning to Okinawa to assume command of his old unit. In this capacity, he led the unit on numerous missions in East and Southeast Asia and deployed to Iraq in 2008-2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he advised the Iraqi Special Operations Force (ISOF) in Baghdad. Upon returning to Okinawa, he assumed the role of Battalion Executive Officer. 

Professor Gleiman's next assignment was at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for several educational opportunities that paved the way for him to become an Army Strategist (Strategic Planner). While attending the Command and General Staff College, he helped pilot the first Art of War Scholars program (predecessor to the SAIS Strategic Thinkers Program (STP)), followed by a year at the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). He then returned to Afghanistan where he served as the Chief of Plans for the Coalition Forces Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A). In 2012, he was selected in the first cohort of the Army’s Advanced Strategic Policy and Planning Program (ASP3) (aka Goodpaster Scholars) through which he pursued his PhD in Security Studies at Kansas State University. 

Upon completing his PhD course work, he served as the USPACOM Visiting Fellow to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) in Canberra, Australia in 2014-2015. Following his studies in Australia, he moved to Hawaii and became the Director of the USPACOM Commander’s Action Group (CAG), where he worked directly for Admiral Harry B. Harris. After a brief sabbatical to complete his PhD dissertation, he moved to Jerusalem in 2018 where he served as the Director of Strategy, Plans, and Assessments for the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC). 

He returned to the National Capital Region where he worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In his final assignment on active duty, he served on Secretary Austin's DoD China Task Force under Dr. Ely Ratner.

Professor Gleiman’s academic and research interests include unconventional warfare, organizational theory, and strategy. Ken is the author of several published articles and research papers in Special Operations Journal, Small Wars Journal, Military Review, The Australian, and The Strategist.

Thomas Marks
Thomas Marks

Dr. Thomas A. Marks, Distinguished Professor and Major General Edward G. Lansdale Chair of Irregular Warfighting Strategy, College of International Security Affairs (CISA).  Dr. Marks assumed his present rank and position on 1 July 2016 after 12 years as the founding Chair of the War and Conflict Studies (WACS) Department, as well as Professor of Terrorism, positions he was asked to occupy at CISA following 9-11 as a consequence of his extensive academic and field experience concerning irregular warfare.

A former US government officer who is a member of the editorial board of Small Wars and Insurgencies (London), he previously served as the Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy at the Marine Corps University (Quantico) and as a longtime Adjunct Professor at both the Air Force Special Operations School (AFSOS) and the intelligence community’s Sherman Kent School. In 2006, he was named awarded AFSOS Educator of the Year; in 2007, he received the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba “Fellow” Award. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Dr. Marks completed his doctoral work in his home state of Hawaii, where for 14 years he was Chair and Professor of Social Science at Academy of the Pacific, a private high school, and – for more than two decades – a highly successful cross country and track coach.

He has authored hundreds of publications. His most recent books, both edited volumes, are the People’s War: Variants and Responses (2018) and Perspectives on the American Way of War: The U.S. Experience in Irregular Combat (2019). He was awarded the Military Medal “Faith in the Cause” on 28 July 2014 by the Colombian Army for contributions to the country’s counterinsurgency effort, and in 2016 received a MINERVA grant to pursue fieldwork on the topic of female combatant motivation in the Nepali Maoist insurgency. Appropriate publications have followed. Most recently, his co-authored article (with CISA’s Dr. David Ucko), “Violence in Context: Mapping the Strategies and Operational Art of Irregular Warfare,” Contemporary Security Policy (February 2018), received the Bernard Brodie Prize 2019 for the best 2018 article. It may be added in passing that during the heyday of Soldier of Fortune, Marks was for a decade the magazine’s Chief Foreign Correspondent.