Joseph J. Collins

Director, Center for Complex Operations

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Areas of Expertise: Asia and the Pacific; Insurgency/Irregular Warfare; Interagency & International Education; Stabilization & Reconstruction

Dr. Joseph J. Collins was appointed Director of the Center for Complex Operations, INSS in July 2014. He joined the National War College faculty in 2004 as Professor of National Security Strategy. Prior to that 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. 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. His Washington assignments included: Army Staff Officer for NATO and Warsaw Pact strategic issues, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army, Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during Operation Desert Storm, and Special Assistant and Chief Speechwriter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Collins has also taught as adjunct faculty in the graduate divisions of Columbia University and Georgetown Universities. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University. He is also an honor graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College and holds a diploma from the National War College.

Dr. Collins has over 100 signed publications, and they include books and articles on the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Operation Desert Storm, contemporary U.S. military culture, defense transformation, and homeland defense. His recent publications include a 2008 NDU INSS occasional paper, “Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath,” and a book, Understanding War in Afghanistan, published by the NDU Press in July 2011. 


Publications