Upcoming Events

Michael R. Gordon
11/9/2022 - 11/9/2022
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The Joint Special Operations University Office for Strategic Engagement is proud to present a live ThinkJSOU webinar on 9 November 2022 from 1:00 PM until 2:00 PM EST with author and national security correspondent, Michael R. Gordon.  Dr. Frank Sobchak, JSOU faculty, will be interviewing Michael R. Gordon on his new book Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump

TOPIC: Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump

DATE: 9 November 2022

TIME: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

WHERE: Zoom 

REGISTRATION: https://www.jsou.edu/Events/EventDashboard/20?title=Michael%20R.%20Gordon


How to Register

·         Navigate to ThinkJSOU: https://www.jsou.edu/Events/EventDashboard/20?title=Michael%20R.%20Gordon

·         Click on register

·         Input JSOU account information ( If you do not have an account, please create one)

·         Register for event

·         A confirmation, including Zoom link, meeting code, and passcode will be sent to your email on file

All questions, including account resets, can be directed to ThinkJSOU@JSOU.edu

In the summer of 2014, President Barack Obama faced an unwelcome surprise: insurgents from the Islamic State had seized the Iraqi city of Mosul and proclaimed a new caliphate, which they were ruling with an iron fist and using to launch terrorist attacks abroad. After considerable deliberation, President Obama sent American troops back to Iraq. The new mission was to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, primarily by advising Iraqi and Syrian partners who would do the bulk of the fighting and by supporting them with airpower and artillery. More than four years later, the caliphate had been dismantled, the cities of Mosul and Raqqa lay in ruins, and several thousand U.S. troops remained to prevent ISIS from making a comeback. The “by, with, and through” strategy was hailed as a template for future campaigns. But how was the war actually fought? What were the key decisions, successes, and failures? And what was learned?
In Degrade and Destroy, the bestselling author and Wall Street Journal national security correspondent Michael R. Gordon reveals the strategy debates, diplomatic gambits, and military operations that shaped the struggle against the Islamic State. With extraordinary access to top U.S. officials and military commanders and to the forces on the battlefield, Gordon offers a riveting narrative that ferrets out some of the war’s most guarded secrets.

Degrade and Destroy takes us inside National Security Council meetings at which Obama and his top aides grapple with early setbacks and discuss whether the war can be won. It also offers the most detailed account to date of how President Donald Trump waged war―delegating greater authority to the Pentagon but jeopardizing the outcome with a rush for the exit. Drawing on his reporting in Iraq and Syria, Gordon documents the closed-door deliberations of U.S. generals with their Iraqi and Syrian counterparts and describes some of the toughest urban battles since World War II. As Americans debate the future of using force abroad, Gordon’s book offers vital insights into how our wars today are fought against militant foes, and the enduring lessons we can draw from them.

Update on the Ukraine/Russia Conflict
10/3/2022 - 10/3/2022
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TOPIC: ThinkJSOU live panel, Update on the Ukraine/Russia Conflict

DATE: 3 October 2022

TIME: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EDT

WHERE: Zoom  

MODERATOR: Mr. Brian Petit

PANEL: Dr. Chris Marsh, Dr. Kevin Sringer, and COL Jerry Jablonski

TARGET AUDIENCE: (Primary) Special Operations Enterprise, (Secondary) Department of Defense, (Tertiary) Interagency, (Tertiary) Partners and Allies

The Joint Special Operations University Office for Strategic Engagement is proud to announce a live ThinkJSOU panel, highlighting the current Ukraine/Russia situation.  This panel will take place on 3 October from 9:00 AM until 10:30 AM EDT.  Mr. Brian Petit, JSOU faculty member, will serve as moderator, facilitating a discussion covering U.S., NATO, and Polish perspectives on the current situation in Ukraine, how the war is shaping up, and what is at stake. Panelists include Dr. Chris Marsh, Russia & Ukraine Expert, Dr. Kevin Stringer, Eastern European Expert, and COL Jerry Jablonski, NATO Expert.

Learning Outcomes

  • Comprehend the nature and character of irregular warfare in the 21st Century as it relates to current and emergent operational environments
  • Analyze historical and emergent approaches to Irregular Warfare as practiced by malign actors (state and non-state)
  • Understand the historical and modern approaches of resilience and resistance in Ukraine and Georgia

How to Register

Recently Ended Events

Aden Magee, The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947-1990
9/7/2022 - 9/7/2022
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Joint Special Operations University is proud to announce a live ThinkJSOU webinar with author and career intelligence and counterintelligence (CI) professional Aden Magee at 1100 EDT on 7 September 2022.  Aden Magee will be discussing his new book The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990, with JSOU faculty member Dr. Dave Oakley.

*This live ThinkJSOU Webinar will take place on Zoom. Upon registering, a meeting link and passcode will be sent to your email on file. 

Aden Magee operated as the commander of a highly specialized CI element in West Germany during the culminating decade of the Cold War, which enabled him to pull together an unprecedented story with broad historical context. He is a retired U.S. Army officer, CI agent, and veteran of foreign wars. He has worked as a consultant to senior executives in the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since his retirement from the Army in 2005. He is a published author with over 50,000 books sold. He is widely published in reputed intelligence and security journals.

The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors: Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990 details the Soviet Military Liaison Mission (SMLM) in West Germany and the U.S. Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in East Germany as microcosms of the Cold War strategic intelligence and counterintelligence landscape. Thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet and U.S. Military Liaison Missions are all but forgotten. Their operation was established by a post-WWII Allied occupation forces' agreement, and missions had relative freedom to travel and collect intelligence throughout East and West Germany from 1947 until 1990.

This book addresses Cold War intelligence and counterintelligence in a manner that provides a broad historical perspective and then brings the reader to a never-before documented artifact of Cold War history. The book details the intelligence/counterintelligence dynamic that was among the most emblematic of the Cold War. Ultimately, the book addresses a saga that remains one of the true Cold War enigmas.

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, former DIA director and retired U.S. Army officer stated in ARMY magazine that This book should be required reading not only for intelligence professionals but also for senior leaders making decisions on force structure so they better appreciate the impact our counterintelligence force can make when properly resourced.

Register today to secure a space for this webinar that is sure to unveil some of the cold war mysteries surrounding intelligence and CI. 

Information/Influence Campaigns Against North Korea
5/26/2022 - 5/26/2022
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Join JSOU Faculty Member Mr. Gilbert Doan of the College of Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict as he interviews Mr. David Maxwell, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, about information/influence campaigns against North Korea. 

The Concept Maneuver in the Narrative Space
3/31/2022 - 3/31/2022
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Virtual webinar event with William (Bill) Dempsey (JSOU Academic Chair to USASOC/USAJFKSWCS) and Brian L. Steed (Assistant Professor Department of Military History US Army Command & General Staff College)

The Invisible Woman
9/15/2021 - 9/15/2021
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You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: September 15, 2021 1100 am Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: ThinkJSOU Live Webinar: “The Invisible Woman”.

Moderator & Interviewee: Dr. Lillian “Doc” Alessa JSOU Faculty & Author Erika Robuck

Register in advance for this webinar:


SOF Working With the Intelligence Community (Webinar)
8/25/2021 - 8/25/2021
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You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: August 25, 2021 1100 am Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Think-JSOU Live Webinar: “SOF Working With the Intelligence Community”.

Moderator & Interviewee: Dr. David Oakley JSOU Faculty & Colonel (R)/Executive Director International Spy Museum Chris Costa

Register in advance for this webinar: