Faculty Research Profiles


Since Professor Richard Shultz began studying security issues, there have been massive changes in the international security environment, the use of force, and its implications. The most recent shift, which began in the immediate post-Cold War period and climaxed with terrorist attacks on 9/11, has highlighted the fact that traditional conflict and warfare is increasingly being replaced by a new form of warfare--one which modern armies and security services are ineffective in combating. Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander EuropeGeneral Rupert Smith, in his book The Utility of Force, refers to these new conflicts as “war amongst the people.” These are the precisely the kinds of conflict that lie at the center of Professor Shultz’s research and publication agenda.

These changes in conflict and war led Shultz to explore many different aspects of the issue: For example, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 he was concerned with three questions: What were the tools the U.S. had at its disposal to deal with these kinds of security challenges? What were the roles of Special Operations Forces? Why did the U.S. never use its Special Mission Units to deal with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda?

The latter question was addressed in a year-long study Shultz conducted with the Pentagon starting in December 2001, which was later briefed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Shultz made a convincing argument to the Department of Defense to allow publication of the study. It appeared in a 2004 issue of The Weekly Standard entitled “Showstoppers: Nine Reasons Why We Never Sent Our Special Operations Forces after al Qaeda Before 9/11.”

Shultz’s other work in the years immediately following 9/11 included research on how other democracies have effectively collected intelligence on armed groups. It was conducted in collaboration with the scholars from the Washington-based National Strategy Information Center (NSIC). Since 1962, NSIC has been at the forefront of innovating and institutionalizing education on major dimensions of security and intelligence studies. Shultz worked directly with Dr. Roy Godson, NSIC president and professor of government at Georgetown University. The findings from their extensive field research were presented to senior U.S. government officials in Washington. Shultz and Godson also published the results in a major article entitled “Intelligence Dominance, A Better Way Forward,” The Weekly Standard (July 31, 2006).

In 2004, Professor Shultz became co-director with Professor Godson of the Armed Groups and Irregular Warfare Teaching and Research Project in Washington. This project focused on how to best understand non-state armed groups, and how to teach about the subject. This led to publication of a monograph entitled Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Priority (Colorado: USAF Academy, Institute for National Security Studies, 2004). A second monograph appeared in 2007 entitled Global Insurgency Strategy and the Salafi Jihad Movement (Colorado: USAF Academy, Institute for National Security Studies, 2008).

In 2006, Shultz (with Andrea Dew) came out with a major new book titled Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat. The book grew out of his work on the Armed Groups and Irregular Warfare Teaching and Research Project. The book was published by Columbia University Press. It was endorsed by Senator John McCain, Sir Richard Dearlove (former chief of MI-6), and Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker). The book is intended, according to Shultz, as “a provocative account and analysis of 21st century warfare and the costs of failing to understand the changing new faces of combat.” The book is designed to appeal to informed readers and not just an academic audience. Columbia University Press will bring out a paperback addition in 2009.

In addition to conducting research on armed groups, Professors Shultz and Godson designed a full length course on Armed Groups and Irregular Warfare that includes related curricular materials and an extensive annotated bibliography. Then in the summers of 2007-2008 they organized two faculty-development seminars for instructors from PME schools and their intelligence community counterparts to learn how to teach the course. They also will publish a lengthy monograph on the topic. With the 2008 workshop, theArmed Groups and Irregular Warfare Teaching and Research Project came to an end.

At the end of 2008, Professor Shultz began a new two year book project titled Adapting America’s Security Paradigm to a New Era. The research and writing of the volume will be carried out in collaboration with three Washington-based scholars: Dr. Roy Godson, NSIC president and professor of government at Georgetown University; Dr. Querine Hanlon, professor of security studies at the National Defense University, and Dr. Samantha Ravich, senior fellow at the National Strategy Information Center.

The paradigm project seeks to address two major issues. First, it intends to describe and assess the emergence of a new and complex 21st century international security environment that is characterized by a proliferation of weak and failing states, as well as of powerful armed groups able to affect stability and security in fundamental ways; the creation of new interactions and interrelationships between and among local, regional and global state and non-state actors; and the emergence of unprecedented coalitions of adversaries and allies comprised of states and non-state actors. These are new conditions and they diverge sharply from the security paradigm of the 20th century. The second part of the project will identify the kinds of strategies and capabilities the U.S. and other democracies will need to develop in order to address the challenges that will emanate from this new 21st century security environment.

Finally, Professor Shultz is studying and analyzing one of what he believes is illustrative of the types of conflict that will characterize the 21st century security environment. He is researching the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2004-2007 campaign in Al Anbar Province in Iraq. To do so he has gained access to the oral history collection and other research materials located at the History Division of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Shultz tries to interact as much as possible with the kinds of organizations and people that can add to both his research areas and his teaching areas. “The pay-off is quite relevant and the connections definitely help,” he says, not only in finding additional material, but also when it comes time for his students to find jobs.

In general, Shultz’s view of educating both students and the public on security issues is “to give a theoretical, philosophical, and historical basis for understanding the state of the world today.”