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Benjamin Jensen

Scholar in Residence School of International Service

Additional Positions at AU

  • Scholar-in-Residence
Dr. Benjamin M. Jensen’s teaching and research explore the changing character of political violence and strategy. He holds a dual appointment as an Associate Professor at the Marine Corps University, Command and Staff College and as a Scholar-in-Residence at American University, School of International Service. At Marine Corps University, he runs the Advanced Studies Program. The program integrates student research with long-range studies on future warfighting concepts and competitive strategies in the U.S. defense and intelligence communities. His book, Forging the Sword: U.S. Army Doctrine, 1975-2010, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. His second book, Cyber Strategy: The Changing Character of Cyber Power and Coercion, will be published in early 2018 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Jensen also writes a column on the changing character of conflict for War on the Rocks, entitled “Next War.” Dr. Jensen has received grants and research support from the Hewlett Foundation/University of California-Berkley, the U.S. Marine Corps, Minerva Initiative, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Smith Richardson Foundation and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (French National Center for Scientific Research). He is an alumnus of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Basin Harbor Workshop, the Bridging the Gap Initiative and the American Academy for Strategic Education. Dr. Jensen has written opinion pieces on the changing character of war for the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, Al-Hayat and the Daily Star. His media appearances include BBC, Fox News, National Public Radio, and Canadian Television. Dr. Jensen has also supported multiple U.S. government agencies including contributing to Joint staff studies and war games on transnational threats and great power competition, counterinsurgency doctrine, intelligence community scenarios on the future of Afghanistan, studies on cyber operational art, and red team assessments for the NATO headquarters in Afghanistan. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.


PhD and MA, American University; MS, National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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SIS-School of Intl Service
SIS - 208
Contact Info
(202) 885-1673 (Office)

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For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


  • Summer 2018

    • SIS-793 Practicum in Int'l Affairs: Denmark: Future of Cyber Confl
    • Description
  • Fall 2018

    • SISU-318 Topics Global Sec/Foreign Pol: Causes of War
    • Description
  • Spring 2019

    • SISU-306 Adv Int'l Studies Research: Foresight & Art of Strategy
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • American University School of International Service Award, Outstanding Teaching by a PhD Candidate, 2008
  • Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, 2008

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

The future of war, military operations, military planning, strategy, international security, military innovation, cyber security, intelligence

Additional Information:

Benjamin Jensen is an expert on military innovation and the changing character of conflict. His academic work includes work on military innovation, military operations, strategy, and how technology alters conflict dynamics. He is the author of Forging the Sword: Doctrinal Innovation in the U.S. Army (Stanford University Press, foreword by H.R. McMaster) and the forthcoming Cyber Strategy: the Evolving Character of Power and Coercion (Oxford University Press). These research interests also inform his column at War on the Rocks, “Next War.” Outside of academia, Jensen runs the Gray Scholars program for the U.S. Marine Corps connecting top Joint officers to emerging defense topics. Past studies included the future of amphibious operations, operations in dense urban terrain, the third offset, and information warfare. In addition to his work for the U.S. Marine Corps, he supports the U.S. Army Future and Modernization Task Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of Net Assessment, participating in and designing defense strategy studies, forecasts, and war games. He is a combat veteran and officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.