Benjamin M. Jensen, Ph.D.

Professor of Strategic Studies

Contact Information


Areas of Epertise

  • military innovation
  • strategic studies
  • security studies
  • international relations
  • foreign policy
  • human security


  • Ph.D. International Relations, 2010, American University, School of International Service
  • M.S. Strategic Intelligence, 2010, National Intelligence University
  • M.A. International Peace and Conflict Resolution, 2007, American University, School of International Service
  • B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, 1997, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Dr. Benjamin M. Jensen holds a dual appointment as a Professor of Strategic Studies at the Marine Corps University School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW) and as a Scholar-in-Residence at American University, School of International Service. At SAW he runs the Future War Research Program and directs the Changing Character of Conflict (3C) course. He previously founded the Gray Scholars Program at Marine Corps University, Command and Staff College and served as the inaugural Donald Bren Chair, helping establish the CMC Strategist Program. In 2017, Dr. Jensen received a Commandant of the Marine Corps Innovation Award. He has been a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council since 2016. He is an alumnus of the American Academy for Strategic Education (2014), Bridging the Gap Initiative (2013), and Merrill Center for Strategic Education Basin Harbor Workshop (2012).

Dr. Jensen has an extensive track record supporting the US Congress, the US Department of Defense, NATO, US Department of State (DOS), and USAID primarily with war gaming, red teaming, and alternative analysis. In 2019-2010, he served as the Senior Research Director and Lead Author for the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. During that same time period, he developed new forecasting and assessment frameworks for the Economic Organizational of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in support of USAID and DOS initiatives. Since 2015, he has supported the U.S. Army, including Army Futures Command, with ongoing research on the future of strategic competition, military modernization programs, and warfighting. He has advised DARPA, the Russia Strategic Initiative (SMA), Strategic Multilayered Assessment (SMA) effort on the Joint Staff, and Office of Net Assessment.

Dr. Jensen publishes widely on the changing character of political violence and strategy. Stanford University Press published his first book, Forging the Sword: Doctrinal Change in the U.S. Army in 2016, including a foreword by Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. He is also the co-author, with Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland of Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition (Cambria Press, 2018) and, with Dr. Brandon Valeriano and Ryan Maness, Cyber Strategy: the Evolving Character of Power and Coercion (Oxford University Press, 2018). Dr. Jensen also publishes a column, “Next War” at War on the Rocks. He has written opinion pieces on conflict and strategy for the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Philadelphia Inquirer, Al-Hayat and the Daily Star. He has received research support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles Koch Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Hewlett Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and the DoD Minerva Initiative.

Selected Publications

  • Benjamin Jensen, Christopher Whyte, Scott Cuomo. Information at War: Military Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power (Washington: Georgetown University Press, forthcoming 2021)
  • Benjamin Jensen, John Watts, Christian Trotti, and Mark Massa, Competitive Strategy Insights from Wargames (Washington: Atlantic Council September 28, 2020)
  • Benjamin Jensen, Christopher Whyte, and Scott Cuomo “Algorithms at War: The Promise, Peril, and Limits of Artificial Intelligence” International Studies Review 22(3) September 2020.
  • Benjamin Jensen (lead author) U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report (Washington: U.S. Congress, 2020)
  • Benjamin Jensen and Brandon Valeriano. What Do We Know About Cyber Escalation? Observations from Simulations and Surveys (Washington: Atlantic Council November 22, 2019)
  • John Watts, Benjamin Jensen, JD Work, Nina Kollars and Christopher Whyte, Alternate Cybersecurity Futures (Washington: Atlantic Council September 28, 2019)
  • Brandon Valeriano and Benjamin Jensen. The Myth of the Cyber Offense: The Case for Restraint (Washington: CATO Institute January 15, 2019)
  • Benjamin Jensen, Brandon Valeriano, and Ryan Maness “Fancy Bears and Digital Trolls: Cyber Strategy with a Russian Twist” Journal of Strategic Studies 42:2 2019
  • Benjamin Jensen, Henrik Breitenbach, and Brandon Valeriano (eds) Complex Terrain: Megacities and the Changing Character of Urban Operations (Quantico: Marine Corps University Press)
  • Brandon Valeriano, Benjamin Jensen, Ryan Maness. Cyber Strategy: The Evolving Character of Power and Coercion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • Charles Cleveland, Benjamin Jensen, Arnel David, and Susan Bryant. Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition (New York: Cambria, 2018)
  • Benjamin Jensen “The Role of Ideas in Defense Planning: Revisiting the Revolution in Military Affairs” Defence Studies 18(3), 2018
  • Benjamin Jensen and David Banks. Cyber Operations in Conflict: Lessons from Analytical Wargames (Berkley: Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, 2018)
  • Hugo Meijer and Benjamin Jensen “The Strategist’s Dilemma: Global Dynamic Density and the Making of US-China Policy” European Journal of International Security 3(2) June 2018
  • Benjamin Jensen. Forging the Sword: Doctrinal Change in the U.S. Army (Pal Alto: Stanford University Press, 2016)
  • Benjamin Jensen “Escaping the Iron Cage: the Institutional Foundations of FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency Doctrine” Journal of Strategic Studies 39(2) 2016


  • Officer, U.S. Army Reserve
  • Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Professional memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Political Science Association
  • International Studies Association
Marine Corps University