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University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation

Stephen Biddle

Professor of International and Public Affairs at Colombia University

Stephen Biddle is Professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, a member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and adjunct senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served on the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board, on General David Petraeus’ Joint Strategic Assessment Team in Baghdad in 2007, as a senior advisor to the Central Command Assessment Team in Washington in 2008-09, as a member of General Stanley McChrystal’s Initial Strategic Assessment Team in Kabul in 2009, and on a variety of other government advisory panels and analytical teams. His research seeks to bridge the divide between policy and scholarship, using the methods of modern social science to explain underlying causal relationships on which defense policy positions rest.

Biddle is the author of the award-winning book Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle (Princeton University Press, 2004) and numerous journal articles in top-tier academic journals. He is a frequent commentator on US foreign policy for major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian, among others. He received his PhD from Harvard University.

Expertise & Interests

  • U.S. national security policy
  • Military strategy and the conduct of war
  • Technology in modern warfare
  • Recent operations in the war on terror