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Benjamin Jensen Scholar in Residence SIS Faculty

Additional Positions at AU
Hurst Professorial Lecturer
PhD and MA, American University; MS, National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Benjamin Jensen is an Adjunct Hurst Professorial Lecturer who has taught and helped develop courses on peace, conflict resolution, foreign policy, and strategy at AU since 2006. Outside of AU, he is a senior fellow for future war, gaming, and strategy in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a professor of strategic studies at the Marine Corps University School of Advanced Warfighting. Dr. Jensen has spent the last decade researching the changing character of political violence, technology, and strategy. He has worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, NATO, the U.S. Army, and a range of government agencies and foundations to develop wargames and scenario-driven exercises exploring strategy, defense analysis, crisis response, military planning, and complex emergencies. Outside of traditional defense and security issues, he supported the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in developing a human security assessment framework and a red team manual for early-warning analysts and development practitioners. He is the author of four books including the forthcoming Information at War: Military Innovation, Battle Networks, and the Future of Artificial Intelligence (Georgetown University Press, 2022), Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition (Cambria, 2018), Cyber Strategy: The Evolving Character of Power and Coercion (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Forging the Sword: Doctrinal Change in the U.S. Army (Stanford University Press 2016). Most recently, he served as the senior research director and lead author for the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. He has received support from multiple foundations and government agencies including the Office of Naval Research, OSD Minerva Initiative, Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles Koch Institute, 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 is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his MA and PhD from the American University School of International Service as well as an MS from the National Intelligence University. He is a reserve officer in the U.S. Army with four mobilizations who has commanded at the platoon through battalion level and stood up multiple red teams and joint intelligence organizations linked to Afghanistan and Ukraine.
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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.

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 Experts

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.

For the Media

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

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