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DR. KIMBERLY KAGAN is the founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War. She is a military historian who has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Yale, Georgetown, and American University. She is the author of The Eye of Command (2006) and The Surge: A Military History (2009), editor of The Imperial Moment (2010), and lead co-author of ISW’s report series: U.S Grand Strategy to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda. Dr. Kagan has published numerous essays in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Fox News. She co-produced The Surge: The Whole Story, an hour-long oral history and documentary film on the campaign in Iraq (2007-2008).
Dr. Kagan served in Kabul for seventeen months (2010-2012) working for commanders of the International Security Assistance Force, General David H. Petraeus and subsequently General John Allen. Admiral Mike Mullen, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognized her service with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor the Chairman can present to civilians who do not work for the Department of Defense.
Dr. Kagan served as a member of General Stanley McChrystal’s strategic assessment team, comprised of civilian experts, during his campaign review in 2009. She conducted many regular battlefield circulations of Iraq between 2007-2010 while General Petraeus and General Raymond T. Odierno served as the MNF-I Commanding General. She participated formally on the Joint Campaign Plan Assessment Team for Multi-National Force-Iraq – U.S. Mission- Iraq in 2008 and 2009.
Dr. Kagan held an Olin Postdoctoral Fellowship in Military History at Yale International Security Studies (2004-2005) and was a National Security Fellow at Harvard’s Olin Institute for Strategic Studies (2002-2003). She received a B.A. in Classical Civilization and a Ph.D. in History from Yale University.
Understanding the role of combat in the Iraq war is essential for both the American people and the U.S. military. Recognizing the objectives of both sides and the plans developed to attain those objectives provides the context for understanding the war.