Dr. Robert Brannon
returned to the National War College faculty in October 2009 after a four-year hiatus. Until recently, he was a member of the faculty at the George C. Marshall European Centers College of International and Security Studies, serving as Director of the Senior Executive Seminar in 2009, and as Director of the Program in Advanced Security Studies, the colleges largest and most comprehensive resident program, 2007-2008. Specializing in Russian political and military affairs, he teaches courses in national security strategy, civil-military relations, scenario planning, and nuclear policy related to weapons of mass destruction proliferation issues, especially focusing on the potential for terrorist use of nuclear WMD. Previously, he was Chief of Naval Operations Chair at the National War College, where he was a member of the faculty for four years.
Retired from active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Brannon has had the usual service at sea and in command, including assignments on the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY (CV41) as assistant navigator, and in various flying positions in four different patrol aviation squadrons, culminating with command of VP-45 while deployed to
Keflavik, Iceland. Shifting to a political-military affairs subspecialty in Russian and European international affairs in 1993, he served for three years at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, coordinating the first framework documents for the Partnership for Peace. He became one of the Navys first designated Foreign Area Officers in 1998, prior to an assignment in Russia. In March 2001, nearing three years of service at the American Embassy in Moscow as the U.S. Naval Attach, he was unjustly accused of espionage and expelled from the country in a round of diplomatic reciprocity. Dr. Brannon was in Russia during the economic crash of August 1998, the armed riots at the American Embassy in protest of NATOs military intervention in the Balkans, and the submarine Kursk disaster on August 12, 2000.
Dr. Brannons academic credentials include senior National Security Fellow in residence at Harvard Universitys Kennedy School of Government 2001-2002, and International Affairs Fellow at MIT in the Seminar XXI Washington D.C. Class of 2004. He has a PhD in World Politics and Russian Studies, as well as an MA in International Affairs from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. His research interests focus primarily on Russian political-military affairs and civil-military relations. His published work includes a recently released book about civil-military relations in Russia during the transition from Yeltsin to Putin, examining several case studies in support of the central hypothesis that the Russian military may be operating to some degree on its own initiative, especially in a series of high-profile events significant to Russias post-Soviet evolution. He is currently conducting research in support of a new book aimed at writing the definitive story, with special focus on the political-military implications, of the Russian submarine Kursk tragedy at sea in August 2000, anticipated for publication in 2010 on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.
- Russian Civil-Military Relations, (Ashgate, London, March, 2009)
- Hollow Swords: Russias Military Today Implications for the U.S. and Europe, Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security, Winter Quarter, January, 2009.
- Civil-Military Relations in Russia under Yeltsin and Putin, paper presented at the International Studies Association (ISA) annual convention in Honolulu, March 2005, reviewed by Dr. George MacLean, University of Manitoba, and Dr. William Hazleton, University of Ohio.
- Regional Security Cooperation and Foreign Policies in Central Asia: A 21st Century Great Game? chapter 20 in The Tracks of Tamerlane: Central Asias Path to the 21st Century, edited by Daniel L. Burghart and Theresa Sabonis-Helf (Center for Technology and National Security Policy, National Defense University Press, Washington, 2004).
- U.S. Russian Relations: Cooperation in the Global War on Terrorism, monograph (research supervised by Graham Allison, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, National Security Program, Cambridge, MA, May, 2002).
- War in Three Cultures: Examining Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in the Context of Armed Conflict, monograph (research supervised by J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, November 2001).
Published book reviews include three on the Russian submarine Kursk disaster: Peter Truscotts Russias Lost Pride
, Robert Moores A Time to Die: The Untold Story of the Kursk Tragedy
, and Ramsey Flynns Cry From the Deep
, for the US Naval Institute Proceedings
(2003-2005); and two, Peter Temes The Just War: An American Reflection on the Morality of War in Our Time
; and Michael Abrashoffs Get Your Ship Together: How Great Leaders Inspire Ownership from the Keel Up
, for the Marine Corps Gazette