Our Team

Dr. Seth Jones

Seth G. Jones is senior vice president and director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he oversees an extensive portfolio of defense research and analysis. His work focuses on such issues as defense strategy, the defense industrial base, military posture, and irregular warfare. He has served in a range of positions in the U.S. Department of Defense, including in U.S. Special Operations Command and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He served as representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations. Before that, he was a plans officer and adviser to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command–Afghanistan). He has also served on several Congressional Commissions, including that Afghanistan War Commission and the Independent Commission to Review the FBI’s Post-9/11 Response to Terrorism and Radicalization. Prior to joining CSIS, Dr. Jones was the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation.

He is the author of numerous books, including Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran, and the Rise of Irregular Warfare (W.W. Norton, 2021), A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland (W.W. Norton, 2018), Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons from the Vietcong to the Islamic State (Oxford University Press, 2016), and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton, 2009). Dr. Jones has published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and International Security, as well as newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Jones is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.