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Message from the Chair

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Defense Analysis (DA) website. Our department is comprised of two graduate curricula, one for the study of special operations and irregular warfare, the other focusing on joint information operations. These curricula offer some of the most unique instruction available among defense educational establishments — or anywhere else in academe.

The special operations and irregular warfare curriculum is the only one of its kind, and is sponsored by the Special Operations Command. The curriculum on joint information operations was established at the direction of the deputy secretary of defense, and is sponsored by the under secretary for policy. DA is also home to the only two War College fellows resident at the Naval Postgraduate School, and the National Intelligence Chair.

Our mission is simple: to arm select US and international military professionals and interagency personnel with the critical thinking skills and specialized knowledge that they will need for waging and prevailing in the complex conflicts under way — and those to come.

With the support of our sponsors, DA’s comparative advantages in irregular warfare and information operations graduate education and research ensure the emergence of cadres of capable operators, planners and commanders able to deal with the wide range of threats — traditional and unconventional — that threaten our and the world’s security. We take to heart General Peter Schoomaker’s axiom, "train for certainty, educate for uncertainty."

As asserted by the Joint Staff and affirmed by the special operations community and the Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP), DA offers a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity for the in-depth study of all aspects of irregular warfare and information operations. Whether those in our program are special operators or information operators, or represent the various services’ and our allies’ “general purpose forces,” all come away with a sense of how military and security affairs are being shaped in an era whose societal contours are so powerfully shaped by the twin factors of the information revolution and the rise of terrorist and insurgent networks.

So as you browse our website, please take the time to learn more about our exceptional degree programs, our impressive, multi-disciplinary faculty, and our innovative, war-fighter-focused research centers. As a graduate, you’ll be able to stay connected to other graduates, both US and international, and to our faculty via our alumni link.

We in DA are proud of what our program has been able to contribute to national and global security over the course of the past two decades. Well before 9/11, we were putting irregular warfare “on the map,” and we were thinking, teaching, writing and advising about information operations from very early on as well. Today our faculty, students, and graduates are helping to change things for the better in many places around the world: Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and many other countries. If you are a prospective student, I urge you to consider coming to study with us, and to join the next generation of “unconventional” leaders.

Dr. John Arquilla, Chair
Defense Analysis Department
United States Naval Postgraduate School
Graduate School of Operational & Information Sciences

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