Strategic Insights MemoNov 30, 2021
After Kabul: US and allied policy options in Afghanistan
By Atlantic Council and DT Institute
On September 1, 2021, the Atlantic Council and DT Institute ran an expert-driven matrix wargame to: (1) explore major policy dilemmas on the horizon after the US-led coalition withdrawal; and (2) forecast state behavior and assess emerging risks in the wake of the crisis. This Strategic Insights Memo captures the key takeaways from that wargame and the implications for great-power competition, regional security, and humanitarian issues in South Asia and the Middle East.
Dr. Benjamin Jensen was a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Forward Defense practice within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Dr. Jensen holds dual appointments at the Marine Corps University and American University, School of International Service. At American University, Dr. Jensen is the program coordinator for the peace, global security, and conflict resolution undergraduate thematic area. His teaching and research explore the changing character of political violence and strategy. At the Marine Corps University, Command and Staff College, he is an assistant professor running the Advanced Studies Program. The program integrates student research with long-range studies on future warfighting concepts and competitive strategies in the US defense and intelligence communities.
During his career, Dr. Jensen has supported multiple US government agencies including contributing to Joint Staff studies and war games on transnational threats and great power competition, counterinsurgency doctrine, intelligence community scenarios on the future of Afghanistan, studies on cyber operational art, and red team assessments for the NATO headquarters in Afghanistan. Dr. Jensen has extensive experience as a war-gamer, including for the Marine Corps War-fighting Lab, Office of Net Assessment, Pacific Challenge (’12-’14), ‘9 Innings’ USMC Command and Staff Capstone exercise (’12-‘14) and KFOR (’10-’13). Dr. Jensen is also an officer in the US Army Reserves with multiple deployments including Kosovo (2006) and Afghanistan (2011). He has served in a variety of roles including Infantry commander, planner, targeting, and intelligence officer. He also has experience in the private sector, having worked for various companies from 1998-2012 including SAIC and UBS.
Dr. Jensen has authored or co-authored three books, “Forging the Sword: U.S. Army Doctrinal Innovation”, “Cyber Coercion: The Evolving Nature of Cyber Power and Strategy”, and “The Human Domain: Breaking Series of Failures”. He is a prolific writer who has published numerous article and editorials, presented numerous conference papers and has regular columns on War on the Rocks.
Dr. Jensen received his bachelor’s degree in English and communications from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an MA in international affairs, international peace and conflict resolution from American University, School of International Service, a master’s of science in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College (Defense Intelligence Agency) and his PhD in international relations (international politics, international security) from American University, School of International Service.