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Former Army Officer and Counterinsurgency Expert to Lecture at Juniata

(Posted September 27, 2010)

John Nagl, former U.S. Army officer and an author of the Army Counterinsurgency Manual.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- As President Barack Obama declares a "winding down" of the Iraq War and Gen. David Petraeus, architect of the Iraq counterinsurgency "surge," has been asked to replicate that effort in Afghanistan, Juniata College has invited counterinsurgency expert John Nagl to talk on lessons we can take away from such conflicts at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Neff Lecture Hall in the Von Liebig Center For Science.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Nagl, president of the Center for a New American Security, was on the writing team that compiled the "U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual" and wrote "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam."

Nagl assumed the presidency of the influential Washington, D.C. think tank when he retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2008. He served as an armor officer for much of his career, leading a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and serving as an operations officer for a tank battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The former Army officer is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. After graduation he received a Rhodes Scholarship and studied international relations at St. John's College in Oxford, England. After serving in the first Gulf War, he returned to Oxford to earn a master's degree and doctorate, studying counterinsurgency.

He returned to West Point as a professor and taught national security studies until 2003, when he was appointed operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division.

As a fellow at the center, he has published widely as an op-ed columnist and analyst for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Democracy and the Armed Forces Journal. He currently is a member of the Defense Policy Board, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Institute of Strategic Studies.

Nagl continues to teach as a visiting professor at King's College of London and earned a master's degree from the Command and General Staff College. He received the Combat Action Badge from Gen. James Mattis, U.S. Marine Corps, in 2004.

The counterinsurgency expert has been a sought-after guest on a variety of talk shows and news programs, including "The Jim Lehrer News Hour," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," National Public Radio and "60 Minutes."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.