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The Strategic Lessons of the Campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq

Mon, Nov 9, 2015, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

You are cordially invited to a lecture on the topic of 

The Strategic Lessons of the Campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq

Dr. Joseph J. Collins
Director of the Center for Complex Operations, National Defense University

Monday, November 9, 2015
4:30 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
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Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long WarDr. Joseph J. Collins, the Director of the Center for Complex Operations at National Defense University will speak on the new NDU book, Lessons Encountered:  Learning from the Long War. The book began as two questions from then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey: what have been the costs and benefits of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; and what are the strategic lessons that one can draw from these two campaigns in the Long War.  The speaker will summarize the 500-page book with an emphasis on the strategic lessons that were identified, and hopefully one day, learned.

Dr. Joseph J. Collins was appointed Director of the Center for Complex Operations, INSS, National Defense University in July 2014, after a decade on the National War College faculty as Professor of National Security Strategy. Prior to that teaching assignment, Dr. Collins served for three years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations, the Pentagon’s senior civilian official for peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and stabilization and reconstruction operations. His team led the stability operations effort in Afghanistan and created the Global Peace Operations Initiative, which President Bush took to the 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit. From 1998-2001, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he did research on economic sanctions, military culture, and national security policy. In 1998, Dr. Collins retired from the U. S. Army as a Colonel after nearly 28 years of military service. His Army years were equally divided among infantry and armor assignments in the United States, South Korea, and Germany; teaching at West Point in the Department of Social Sciences; and a series of assignments in the Pentagon on the Army staff, in OSD Policy, and the Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Collins has also taught as adjunct faculty in the graduate divisions of Columbia University and Georgetown University Strategic Studies Program. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and holds a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University. A former contributing editor of the Armed Forces Journal, he wrote Understanding War in Afghanistan, published by National Defense University Press (NDU Press) in 2011.  He is an author in and the editor of Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War, a book on the strategic lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan.  It has been published in October 2015 by NDU Press, and can be downloaded in various formats at