Richard Shultz

Richard Shultz

Cabot 609C
160 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
Research/Areas of Interest:

U.S. national security policy; Regional conflict and state disintegration Ethnic and religious violence; Internal conflicts and wars; Contemporary military strategy; Intelligence policy and international terrorism; Special operations forces and covert paramilitary operations; Low-intensity conflict and power projection; Media-military relations; Changing roles and missions of the U.S. armed forces


  • Ph.D., Political Science, Miami University
  • Post-doctoral studies, University of Michigan


Richard H. Shultz is Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies and director of the International Security Studies Program. He has held three chairs: Olin Distinguished Professor of National Security, U.S. Military Academy; Secretary of the Navy Senior Research Fellow, Naval War College; and Brigadier General Oppenheimer Chair of War-fighting Strategy, U.S. Marine Corps. Since the mid-1980s, he has served as a security consultant to various U.S. government agencies concerned with national security.

He published in the academic year 2013 a book on the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2004-2008 counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq titled, "The Marines Take Anbar: The Four-Year Fight to Defeat al Qaeda in Iraq." He has recently published with Dr. Querine Hanlon of United States Institute of Peace a study focused on designing a new U.S. approach to Security Sector Reform that draws on existing theory and international practice, as well as U.S. experience, to identify flexible tools for addressing dysfunctional security sectors in fragile states. The study was published as a book in the spring of 2016 by the United States Institute of Peace under the title "Prioritizing Security Sector Reform: A New U.S. Policy."

Finally, in June 2016 he published a monograph length study focused on Task Force (TF) 714, the U.S. national counterterrorism (CT) force that was deployed to Iraq to find, degrade, and dismantle the Al Qaeda dominated insurgent apparatus (AQI) that had burgeoned dramatically in 2003. The research puzzle this study addressed focused on two questions—how and why TF 714 was able to learn and innovate in the midst of war to be successful. The study title is "Military Innovation in War: It Takes a Learning Organization -- A Case Study of Task Force 714."

Other recent books include "Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat" (Columbia University Press, 2006; 2009 Paperback). Recent articles include “A QDR for all Seasons,” Joint Forces Quarterly (September 2010) and “The Sources of Instability in the Twenty-First Century," (Summer 2011).

Areas of expertise

International Communications & Public Diplomacy
International Security
Negotiations & Conflict Resolution

Professional Activities

  • Senior Fellow, U.S. Special Operations Command-Joint Special Operations University (SOCOM/JSOU)
  • Director, International Security Studies Program which includes the Jebsen Center for Counterterrorism Studies, The Fletcher School
  • Recipient of Harvard University’s Goldsmith Research Award from The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy
  • Beneficiary of three chairs: the Olin Distinguished Professorship of National Security Studies at the U.S. Military Academy
  • Secretary of the Navy Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College, and Brigadier General H.L. Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Recipient of research fellowships at Stanford University's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and St. Andrew’s University, Scotland
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs; Advisory Board of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Forces Institute; Special Operations Policy Advisory Group of the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Board of the National Strategy Information Center; International Studies Association; International Institute for Strategic Studies; and Board Member of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc.
  • Recipient of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
  • Member of the Board of Editors for the following Frank Cass Publications, Routledge, UK: Small Wars and Insurgencies, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, and Terrorism and Political Violence
  • International Advisory Board Member of Brassey’s series on Intelligence and National Security
  • Member of the Selection Committee of the Vietnam Fullbright Program and served on the Advisory Board to the President of the U.S. Naval War College 1995-1999

Other Affiliations

  • International Security Studies Program

Courses taught

Selected Publications and Presentations


"The Irreducible Minimum" An Evaluation of Counterterrorism Operations in Iraq," PRISM: The Journal of Complex Operations (No. 3, 2018)

"U.S Counterterrorism Operations during the Iraq War: A Case Study of Task Force 714," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, (Fall 2016).

"States in the 21st Century," Geopolitics, History and International Relations 4:1 (2012) Co-author with Querine Hanlon, Roy Godson, and Samantha Ravich.

"The Sources of Instability in the Twenty-First Century Weak States, Armed Groups, and Irregular Conflict," Strategic Studies Quarterly (Summer 2011).

"A QDR for all Seasons," Joint Forces Quarterly (Sept. 2010).

"Intelligence Dominance A Better Way Forward in Iraq," The Weekly Standard (July 31, 2006). Richard H. Shultz Jr. & Roy Godson.

"Tactical Deception and Strategic Surprises in Al-Qai'da's Operations," MERIA Journal (Summer 2004). Co-authored with Ruth Beitler.

Shultz, Richard and Ruth Margolies Beitler. "Tactical Deception and Strategic Surprise in al-Qai'da's Operations." MERIA Journal 8, no. 2 (2004).

"Showstoppers: Nine Reasons Why We Never Sent Our Special Operations Forces after al Qaeda Before 9/11," The Weekly Standard (January 26, 2004).

Shultz, Richard. "Showstoppers: Nine Reasons Why We Never Sent Our Special Operations Forces After al Qaeda Before 9/11." The Weekly Standard 9, no. 19 (2004): 25-33.

"It's War! Post-11 September Global Terrorism," Terrorism and Political Violence (Spring 2003). Co-authored with Andreas Vogt.

"State Disintegration and Ethnic Conflict: A Framework for Analysis and Case Study," ANNALS (Fall 1995).

"Iranian Covert Aggression: Support for Radical Political Islamists Conducting Internal Subversion Against States in the Middle East/Southwest Asia Region," Terrorism and Political Violence (Spring 1995).

"Emerging Regional Conflicts and U.S. Interests: Challenges and Responses in the 1990s," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (January 1994). Co-authored with J. Marlow Schmauder.

"The Post-Conflict Use of Military Forces: Lessons from Panama, 1989-1991," The Journal of Strategic Studies (June 1993).

"Compellence and the Role of Airpower as a Political Instrument," Comparative Strategy (Fall 1992).

"The Low-Intensity Conflict Environment of the 1990s," ANNALS (September 1991).

"Low Intensity Conflict: Future Challenges and Lessons from the Reagan Years," Survival (July/August 1989).

"Covert Action and Executive-Legislative Relations: The Iran-Contra Crisis and its Aftermath," Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (June 1989).

"Discriminate Deterrence and Low Intensity Conflict: The Unintentional Legacy of the Reagan Administration," Conflict (June 1989).

"Oral History: A Neglected Dimension of Sovietology," Strategic Review (Spring 1987).

"Can Democratic Governments Use Military Force in the War Against Terrorism? The U.S. Confrontation with Libya," World Affairs (Fall 1986).

"Soviet Use of Surrogates to Project Power into the Third World," Parameters (Fall 1986).

"Soviet Active Measures: Distinctions and Definitions," Defense Analysis, No. 2 (1985).

Co-authored with Roy Godson a special issue of International Studies Notes (Winter 1983) devoted to teaching foreign intelligence. The three articles prepared for the issue include: "Teaching Foreign Intelligence;" "Intelligence: the Evolution of a New Teaching Subject;" and "Resource Materials on Intelligence."

"The Role of External Forces in Third World Conflict," Comparative Strategy (Fall 1983).

"Low Intensity Conflict and American Strategy in the 1980s," Conflict Quarterly (Winter 1982).

"Reassessing U.S. Strategy in Vietnam: The Impact of Past Lessons on Future Planning for Low Intensity Conflicts," International Security Review (Winter 1980-1981).

"Coercive Force and Military Strategy: Deterrence Logic and Counterinsurgency Warfare." Western Political Quarterly (December 1979).

"Explaining American Intervention: A Review Essay," Journal of Politics (November 1979).

"Responding to International Terrorism: Prevention and Control," International Studies Notes (Spring 1979).

"Breaking the Will of the Enemy During the Vietnam War: The Operationalization of the Cost-Benefit Model of Counterinsurgency," Journal of Peace Research 15, No. 2 (1978).

"Conceptualizing Political Terrorism." Journal of International Affairs (Summer 1978).

"The Limits of Terrorism in Insurgency Warfare: The Case of the Viet Cong," Polity (Fall 1978).


Military Innovation in War: It Takes a Learning Organization (Tampa, FL: USSOCOM/JSOU Press, 2016).

Prioritizing Security Sector Reform: A New U.S. Approach (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2016).

The Marines Take Anbar: The Four-Year Fight to Defeat al Qaeda in Iraq. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press 2013).

Organizational Learning and the Marine Corps, Monograph (Newport, RI: U.S. Naval War College, Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups, 2013).

Strategic Culture and Strategic Studies: An Alternative Framework for Assessing Al Qaeda and the Global Jihadi Movement, Monograph (Tampa, FL: USSOCOM/Joint Special Operations University Press, 2012)

Adapting America's Security Paradigm and Security Agenda, Special Report (Washington, DC: National Strategy Information Center, 2010) Co-authored with Roy Godson, Querine Hanlon, and Samantha Ravich.

Armed Groups and Irregular Warfare: Adapting Professional Military Education, Monograph (Washington, DC: National Strategy Information Center, 2009). Co-Authored with Roy Godson and Querine Hanlon.

Global Insurgency Strategy and the Salafi Jihad Movement, Monograph (Boulder, CO: Institute for National Security Studies, 2008)

"Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat" (Columbia University Press, 2006; Paperback 2009)

Shultz, Richard, Itamara V. Lochard and Doug Farah. Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Priority. 2004.

The Role of Naval Forces in 21st Century Operations. Brassey's, 2000. Co-editor and author with Richard Shultz.

The Secret War Against Hanoi: Kennedy and Johnson's Use of Spies, Saboteurs, and Covert Warriors in North Vietnam. New York: Harper Collins, 1999 (paperback 2000).

Security Studies for the Twenty-First Century. Washington, DC: Brassey's US, 1997. Co-editor and author with Roy Godson and George Quester.

War in the Information Age: New Challenges for U.S. Security Policy. Brassey's, 1997.

Roles and Missions of SOF in the Aftermath of the Cold War. Co-editor and author 1995.

Ethnic and Religious Conflict: Emerging Threat to US Security, Monograph (Washington, DC: National Strategy Information Center, 1994). Co-authored with William Olson.

In the Aftermath of War: US Support for Reconstruction and Nation-Building in Panama Following Just Cause. Montgomery, AL: Air University Press, 1993.

Marine Expeditionary Forces: Into the Twenty-First Century. Originally published in two issues of the journal Perspectives on Warfighting, the manuscript was published as a single volume by the Marine Corps in 1993. Co-editor and author with Richard Shultz.

Pfaltzgraff, Robert and Richard Shultz. Naval Forward Presence and the National Military Strategy. Naval Institute Press, 1993.

Naval Forward Presence Missions and the National Military Strategy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1993. Co-editor and author with Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.

Security Studies for the 1990s. New York: Brassey's, 1993. Co-editor and author with Roy Godson and Ted Greenwood.

The Future of Air Power in the Aftermath of the Gulf War. Montgomery, AL: Air University Press, 1992. Co-editor and author with Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.

The Soviet Union and Revolutionary Warfare. Stanford, CA: The Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University, 1989.

U.S. Defense Policy in an Era of Constrained Resources (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989). Co-editor and author with Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.

Guerrilla Warfare and Counterinsurgency: U.S.-Soviet Policy in the Third World (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1988). Co-editor with Uri Ra'anan and William Olson

US-Soviet Doctrines and Technologies: Global and Regional Implications (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1987). Co-editor and author with Uri Ra'anan and Richard Shultz.

Hydra of Carnage: The International Linkages of Terrorism (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1985). Co-editor and author with Uri Ra'anan, Ernst Halperin, and Igor Lukes

Power, Principles and Interests: A Reader in World Politics (Lexington, MA: Ginn Press, 1985). Co-editor and author with James P. O'Leary and Jeffrey Salmon

Special Operations in US Strategy (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1985). Co-editor with Frank R. Barnett and B. Hugh Tovar.

Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy. New York: Pergamon-Brassey's, 1984. Co-authored with Roy Godson.

Lessons from an Unconventional War: Reassessing U.S. Strategies in Preparing for Future Conflicts (New York: Pergamon, 1982). Co-editor and author with Richard Hunt

Responding to the Terrorist Threat: Security and Crisis Management (New York: Pergamon, 1980). Co-editor with Stephen Sloan.


"The Real Intelligence Failure on 9-11 and the Case for a Doctrine of Striking First," in Terrorism and Counterterrorism, ed. by Russell D. Howard and Reid L. Sawyer. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. Co-authored with Andreas Vogt.

"Can American Democracy Employ Covert Action as an Instrument of Statecraft," in Legal and Moral Constraints on Low Intensity Conflict, ed. by Alberto Coll, James Ord, and Stephen Rose (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 1995).

Hess, Andrew C. "Cultural and Political Limits on Forward Presence in Southwest Asia." In Naval Forward Presence and the National Military Strategy, eds. Robert Pfaltzgraff and Richard Shultz, Naval Institute Press, 1993.

"Conceptualizing Political Terrorism," in International Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes and Controls, ed. by Charles W. Kegley (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990).

"Covert Action," in Intelligence Requirements for the 1990s, ed. by Roy Godson (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989).

"Low Intensity Conflict: A Comparative," in International Security and Arms Control, vol. II, ed. By Edward Kolodziej and Patrick Morgan (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989).

"Psychological Operations in Revolutionary Warfare: Threats, Opportunities and U.S. Policy," in Psychological Operations and Political Warfare in US Strategy, ed. by Carnes Lord (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 1989).

"Active Measures in Soviet Strategy," in Soviet Foreign Policy in a Changing World, ed. by Erik Hoffmann and Robbin Laird (Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Co., 1986).

"Low Intensity Conflict and U.S. Policy: Regional Threats, Soviet Involvement, and the American Response," in Low Intensity Conflict and Modern Technology, ed. by David Dean. Montgomery, AL: Air University Press, 1986.

"Soviet Intelligence Operations," in The USSR Today and Tomorrow: Problems and Challenges, ed. by Uri Ra'anan and Charles M. Perry (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1986).

"Soviet Strategy and Organization: Active Measures and Insurgency," in The Red Orchestra, ed. by Dennis L. Bark (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution, 1986).

"Countering Third World Marxist-Leninist Regimes: Policy Options for the United States," in Vulnerabilities of Third World Marxist-Leninist Regimes: Implications for U.S. Policy (New York: Pergamon-Brassey's, 1985).

Low Intensity Conflict: The Nature of the Soviet Role," in Strategic Response to Conflict in the 1980s, ed. by William J. Taylor, Jr. (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1984).

"The Role of the Soviet Union in Promoting Insurgency in the Third World," in National Security Strategy: Choices and Limits, ed. by Stephen Cimbala (New York: Praeger, 1984).

"Soviet Strategy and Support for International Terrorist Groups," in The 1980s: Decade of Confrontation? Washington, DC: The National Security Affairs Institute, 1982.

"Conceptualizing Political Terrorism: A Typology," in International Terrorism (New York: School for International Affairs, Columbia University Press, 1980).

"American Strategies during the Vietnam War," in Non-Nuclear Conflict in the Nuclear Age, ed. by Sam Sarkesian (New York: Praeger, 1980).


Counterinsurgency, by the Book, The New York Times, August 07, 2006. By Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew.

"Al Qaida's Growing Sanctuary," The Washington Post, (July 14, 2004). Co-authored with Douglas Farah.

"McCain has the Muscle to make Foreign Policy Work," The Detroit News (February 21, 2000).

"How Kennedy launched his Secret War in Vietnam," The Boston Globe (Jan. 31, 2000).