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Dr. Steven Metz

Senior Research Professor, Geostrategic Affairs
Area(s) of Expertise: U.S. national security strategy; military operations other than war; theory of military strategy; Sub-Saharan Africa; revolution in military affairs; and strategic futures.

Phone: 717-245-3822

Photo Dr. Steven Metz is a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute. He has been with SSI since 1993, previously serving as Director of Research; Henry L. Stimson Professor of Military Studies; Chairman of the Regional Strategy Department; Research Director for the Joint Strategic Landpower Task Force; Director of the Future of American Strategy Project; Project Director for the Army Iraq Stabilization Strategic Assessment; Director of the Strategic Studies Institute and Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Future Landpower Environment Project; and Co-Organizer (along with former Deputy Secretary of Defense John White and former Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch) of the Harvard-U.S. Army War College Symposia on Security Transformation.

Dr. Metz has also been on the faculty of the Air War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and several universities. He has been an advisor to political campaigns; testified in both houses of Congress; and spoken on military and security issues around the world. He served on the blue ribbon advisory panel for the Secretary of Defense Strategic Portfolio Review for Close Combat Capabilities; the RAND Insurgency Board; the Board of Advisors for the U.S. Army history of Operation Iraqi Freedom; the Senior Advisory Panel on Special Forces—Conventional Forces Interdependence; the Atlantic Council's Defense Austerity Task Force; the Central Intelligence Agency's External Advisory Panel for the Iraq Working Group; the Board of Advisers for the American Enterprise Institute's Defense Review; the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Defense Reform For a New Era Task Force; and the Lexington Institute's Grading Government Performance on Homeland Security Task Force. He has also been an Adjunct Scholar at the U.S. Military Academy's Modern War Institute.

Dr. Metz is the author of Iraq and the Evolution of American Strategy (2008) and several hundred articles, essays, monographs, reports, and book chapters. His research has taken him to 32 countries, including Iraq immediately after the collapse of the Hussein regime He holds a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, and an MA and BA from the University of South Carolina.

SSI books and monographs by Dr. Steven Metz

  • 2010 SSI Annual Strategy Conference Report "Defining War for the 21st Century"

    January 31, 2011

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr Phillip R. Cuccia, COL (Ret).
    SSI's XXI Strategic Conference convened many of the world's top experts to assess and debate the definition of war and the strategic implications of how it is defined.

  • Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007

    May 06, 2010

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Was the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq effective in turning the war from a potential disaster to a possible success?

  • Decisionmaking in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: Removing Saddam Hussein by Force

    March 22, 2010

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz. Edited by Professor John R. Martin.
    The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is pleased to initiate its latest monograph series, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Key Decisions. SSI started this project in an effort to give leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces some important insights into how military advice was provided to the Nation’s civilian leadership during the many years—including the months before the invasion—of the war in Iraq. Dr. Metz starts this series with an impressive review of the decision to remove Saddam Hussein by force. The Strategic Studies Institute hopes that this and the succeeding monographs will generate debate on just how the United States made decisions—some of them disastrous—about Iraq. The resulting better understanding of the decisions should lead to strengthening of the processes—where appropriate—so that the military and civilian leadership forge better decisions in the future.

  • Rethinking Insurgency

    June 05, 2007

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    To be successful at counterinsurgency, the U.S. military and defense community must rethink insurgency. This has profound implications for American strategy and military doctrine.

  • Learning from Iraq: Counterinsurgency in American Strategy

    December 22, 2006

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    In Iraq the U.S. Army has undertaken counterinsurgency, a type of activity it thought it had left behind with the end of the Cold War. In the long war against terror, counterinsurgency will remain a central element of American national security policy so it is important to assess the strategic implications of the Iraq campaign.

  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceputalizing Threat and Response

    November 01, 2004

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, LTC Raymond A. Millen.
    Modern insurgency warfare presents fresh challenges for the United States, which must re-conceptualize its approach to fighting such conflicts. Because the dominant characteristics of insurgency--protractedness and ambiguity--effectively stymie the American military's approach to war, the United States needs to reorient its strategic thinking.

  • Future War/Future Battlespace: The Strategic Role of American Landpower

    March 01, 2003

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, LTC Raymond A. Millen.
    The trends in the strategic environment in the development of the Future War/Future Battlespace suggest that traditional warfighting has changed in the post 9-11 era. The strategic environment can be classified into four strategic battlespaces, within which future adversaries will operate to thwart U.S. strategic initiatives.

  • Revising the Two MTW Force Shaping Paradigm

    April 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    One of the most important elements of U.S. military strategy for the past 10 years has been the belief that a force able to fight two nearly simultaneous major theater wars of the DESERT STORM type would be capable of dealing with the full gamut of security challenges that the United States is likely to face.

  • The American Army in the Balkans: Strategic Alternatives and Implications

    January 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    U.S. strategy in the Balkans and the Army's role there is examined. The author recommends continued U.S. involvement, consideration of a long-term American military presence in the region, and some significant changes in role of the U.S. Army.

  • Asymmetry and U.S. Military Strategy: Definition, Background, and Strategic Concepts

    January 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II.
    This report gives a simple and comprehensive definition of strategic asymmetry reflecting the need for military doctrine which transcends today's specific issues. The authors assess the strategic situation of the United States in terms of positive and negative asymmetry and offer five strategic concepts as part of the response to asymmetry: maximum conceptual and organizational adaptability, focused intelligence, minimal vulnerability, full spectrum precision, and an integrated homeland security strategy.

  • American Strategy: Issues and Alternatives for the Quadrennial Defense Review

    September 01, 2000

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    The combination of a congressionally-mandated Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a change of presidents, and shifts in the global security environment will force or allow American strategists to rethink some of the basic elements of U.S. strategy and decide if any changes need to be made.

  • Armed Conflict in the 21st Century: The Information Revolution and Post-Modern Warfare

    March 01, 2000

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Within the past decade, the U.S. military has implemented a number of programs to assess the changes underway in the global security environment and in the nature of warfare. Defense leaders and thinkers have concluded that revolutionary change is taking place and, if the United States develops appropriate technology, warfighting concepts, and military organizations, it can master or control this change, thus augmenting American security.

  • Refining American Strategy in Africa

    February 01, 2000

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    The author provides a broad overview of the African security environment as a basis for recommendations on the refinement of American strategy in that region. He assesses both the opportunities for positive change which exist today, and the obstacles.

  • Nonlethality and American Land Power: Strategic Context and Operational Concepts

    June 01, 1998

    Authored by Professor Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Dr. Steven Metz.
    Nonlethal technology, concepts and doctrine may provide the Army a way to retain its political utility and military effectiveness in a security environment characterized by ambiguity and the glare of world public opinion. To explore this, the Army is undertaking programs and initiatives which may make it the driving force in nonlethality.

  • The United States and the Transformation of African Security: The African Crisis Response Initiative and Beyond

    December 01, 1997

    Authored by COL Daniel W. Henk, Dr. Steven Metz.
    Helping Africans develop a capability to avoid or solve their region's security problems has reemerged recently as an important goal of American strategy, and the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) is its centerpiece. Based on their testimony presented to the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, this study by Dr. Steven Metz and Colonel Dan Henk of the U.S. Army War College examines the ACRI. Significantly, it does so by placing the ACRI in a wider, long-term strategic context.

  • Strategic Horizons: The Military Implications of Alternative Futures

    March 01, 1997

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    A year ago the Chief of Staff of the Army initiated the Army After Next Project (AANP) as a means of stimulating constructive thinking about the Army's future throughout the service. AANP has quickly developed into a primary vehicle for long-range planning.

  • The Strategist and the Web Revisited: An Updated Guide to Internet Resources

    October 01, 1996

    Authored by LTC James Kievit, Dr. Steven Metz.
    Every day of the "Information Age" makes more material available via the Internet. Yet simply "surfing the 'Net'," while perhaps enjoyable as recreation, is ill-suited for rapidly locating valid, salient information. This is particularly true for analysts or military professionals seeking to develop strategy, to research national security issues, or to provide policy advice.

  • Reform, Conflict, and Security in Zaire

    June 01, 1996

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    U.S. foreign policy in Sub-Saharan Africa seeks stability, democracy, and economic development. Despite recent positive trends, it is clear that not all African countries will move in this direction; some will sink into greater violence and misery. In the central part of the continent, Zaire is the linchpin. Because of its great size and natural wealth, Zaire has the ability to serve as either the locomotive of development or an agent of destabilization.

  • The Future of American Landpower: Strategic Challenges for the 21st Century Army

    March 01, 1996

    Authored by Dr. William T. Johnsen, Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II, Professor Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Dr. Steven Metz, LTC James Kievit.
    Armies historically have been criticized for preparing for the last war. Since the early 1980s, however, the U.S. Army has broken this pattern and created a force capable of winning the next war. But, in an era characterized by a volatile international security environment, accelerating technological advances (particularly in acquiring, processing, and disseminating information), the emergence of what some are calling a "revolution in military affairs," and forecasts of increasingly constrained fiscal resources, it seems ill-advised to plan only for the "next Army."

  • The Strategist and the Web: Guide to Internet Resources

    February 01, 1996

    Authored by LTC James Kievit, Dr. Steven Metz.
    Lieutenant Colonel James Kievit and Dr. Steven Metz begin the effort to construct guideposts for strategists to follow. They provide basic information explaining the most important features of the Internet, and a critical review of more than a hundred of the electronic sites most likely to be of interest to research analysts or military planners.

  • Armies and Democracy in the New Africa: Lessons from Nigeria and South Africa

    January 01, 1996

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr. Kent Hughes Butts.
    In October 1994, the Strategic Studies Institute sponsored a roundtable on democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Particular attention was paid to the role the U.S. military and Department of Defense played in democracy support. This study developed from a paper presented at the roundtable. Dr. Butts and Dr. Metz reject the notion that the political culture of African states allows or even encourages military intervention in politics.

  • The Principles of War in the 21st Century: Strategic Considerations

    August 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Professor Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II, Dr. William T. Johnsen, LTC James Kievit.
    For nearly two centuries, the principles of war have guided practitioners of the military art. During the last 55 years the principles of war have been a key element of U.S. Army doctrine, and recently they have been incorporated into other Service and Joint doctrines. The turn of the 21st century and the dawn of what some herald as the "Information Age," however, may call into question whether principles originally derived in the 19th century and based on the experience of "Industrial Age" armed forces still hold. Moreover, despite their long existence, the applicability of the principles of war at the strategic level of warfare has not been the subject of detailed analysis or assessment.

  • Strategy and the Revolution in Military Affairs: From Theory to Policy

    June 01, 1995

    Authored by LTC James Kievit, Dr. Steven Metz.
    A small band of "RMA" analysts has emerged in the military and Department of Defense, in the academic strategic studies community, and in defense-related think-tanks and consulting firms. To these analysts, the Gulf War provided a vision of a potential revolution in military affairs (RMA) in which Information Age technology would be combined with appropriate doctrine and training to allow a small but very advanced U.S. military to protect national interests with unprecedented efficiency.

  • American Civil-Military Relations: New Issues, Enduring Problems

    April 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II, Dr. Steven Metz.
    The authors were invited to prepare a paper for a conference on Civil-Military Relations in the fall, 1994. That paper was translated into an article for the Winter, 1995 edition of The Washington Quarterly under the title "Civil-Military Relations in the United States: The State of the Debate." Although the intensity of interest in this subject has fallen from the front pages of the newspapers, the authors have here suggested that the debate needs to continue and that it should start with identification of the right questions.

  • Counterinsurgency: Strategy and the Phoenix of American Capability

    February 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Dr. Steven Metz argues that the way the Department of Defense and U.S. military spend the time when counterinsurgency support is not an important part of American national security strategy determines how quickly and easily they react when policymakers commit the nation to such activity. If analysis and debate continues, at least at a low level, the military is better prepared for the reconstitution of capabilities. If it ignores global developments in insurgency and counterinsurgency, the reconstitution of capabilities would be more difficult.

  • Disaster and Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning from Rwanda

    September 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Rwanda's horrific civil war suggests that human disasters requiring outside intervention will remain common in Sub-Saharan Africa. The American people want a prompt and effective response to human disasters when the United States becomes involved.

  • The Revolution in Military Affairs and Conflict Short of War

    July 01, 1994

    Authored by LTC James Kievit, Dr. Steven Metz.
    The authors concede that the revolution in military affairs holds great promise for conventional, combined-arms warfare, but conclude that its potential value in conflict short of war, whether terrorism, insurgency, or violence associated with narcotrafficking, is not so clear-cut. Given this, national leaders and strategists should proceed cautiously and only after a full exploration of the ethical, political, and social implications of their decisions.

  • America in the Third World: Strategic Alternatives and Military Implications

    May 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    The author examines the problems of the Third World and the debates that exist regarding the most effective U.S. response to these problems. He has concluded that the Third World is undergoing such significant change that most of the basic assumptions undergirding past and current U.S. policy are no longer viable. He urges a fundamental and radical revision of our national strategy toward the Third World, and recommends a future strategy that would see far more selective and discrete involvement in these staggering problems.

  • World View: The 1994 Strategic Assessment from the Strategic Studies Institute

    April 01, 1994

    Edited by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
    Every year the analysts at the Strategic Studies Institute prepare current strategic assessments for their particular areas of interest. These assessments are the bedrock of the annual SSI Study Program. This year's assessments seem especially crucial as the strategic situation throughout the world is far more complex and fraught with danger than many may realize.

  • The Future of Insurgency

    December 01, 1993

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Security professionals and strategists are discovering the post-cold war world is as rife with persistent, low-level violence as its predecessors. In fact, many regions are experiencing a rise in the amount of conflict in the absence of restraints previously imposed by the superpowers.

  • The Future of the United Nations: Implications for Peace Operations

    October 01, 1993

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    President Clinton has expressed clear support for greater U.N. effectiveness in the peaceful resolution of conflict and the organization of collective security. This entails finding ways to improve U.N. peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peace-enforcement.

  • Eisenhower as Strategist: The Coherent Use of Military Power in War and Peace

    February 01, 1993

    Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
    Few if any American officers performed a wider array of strategic functions as Dwight D. Eisenhower--he was a staff planner in the War Department, wartime commander of a massive coalition force, peacetime Chief of Staff, and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.