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Dr. Conrad C. Crane

Chief of Historical Services

Photo CONRAD C. CRANE is currently chief of historical services for the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle, PA. For the previous 10 years, he was director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. Before accepting that position, Dr. Crane served with the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) from September 2000 to January 2003, where he held the General Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He also has held the General Hoyt S. Vandenberg Chair of Aerospace Studies at USAWC. He joined SSI after his retirement from active military service, a 26-year military career that concluded with 9 years as professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy. Dr. Crane has authored or edited books and monographs on the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, and has written and lectured widely on airpower and landpower issues. Before leaving SSI, he coauthored the prewar study Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario, which influenced Army planners and has attracted much attention from the media. He was the lead author for the groundbreaking Army-U.S. Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, released in December 2006. For this effort, he was named one of Newsweek’s people to watch in 2007. He visited Iraq in November 2007 at General David Petraeus’s request to evaluate the new doctrine in action. In November 2008, he was named the Archivist of the Year by the Scone Foundation. He published two books in 2016, one for Naval Institute Press about the creation and application of American counterinsurgency doctrine, entitled Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War, and another for University Press of Kansas on American strategic bombing in World War II. In that same year he was awarded the Society for Military History’s Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for lifetime contributions to the field of military history. Dr. Crane holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the USAWC.

*The above information may not be current. It was current at the time when the individual worked for SSI or was published by SSI.

SSI books and monographs by Dr. Conrad C. Crane

  • Creating Great Expectations: Strategic Communications and American Airpower

    November 05, 2018

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    View the Executive Summary

    Americans have always been uniquely attracted to airpower, a fact that has been successfully exploited by generations of U.S. Air Force leaders in information campaigns. But as a result, the nation has often entered conflicts with exorbitant expectations about what airpower could actually accomplish, creating unique challenges in strategic communications when promises did not match reality, especially in recent conflicts. Adaptive enemies have also become very adept at using their own carefully crafted information campaigns to counter what is America’s greatest asymmetric advantage on the battlefield.

  • Precedents, Variables, and Options in Planning a U.S. Military Disengagement Strategy from Iraq

    October 01, 2005

    Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill, Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The questions of how to empower the Iraqis most effectively and then progressively withdraw non-Iraqi forces from that country is one of the most important policy problems currently facing the United States. The authors seek to present the U.S. situation in Iraq in all of its complexity and ambiguity, with policy recommendations for how that withdrawal strategy might be most effectively implemented.

  • Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario

    February 01, 2003

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane, Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
    In October 2002, the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, in coordination with the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff/G-3, initiated a study to analyze how American and coalition forces can best address the requirements that will necessarily follow operational victory in a war with Iraq. The objectives of the project were to determine and analyze probable missions.

  • Avoiding Vietnam: The U.S. Army's Response to Defeat in Southeast Asia

    September 01, 2002

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The author analyzes the Army's response to that defeat in Southeast Asia and its long-term impact. Contrary to the accepted wisdom that nations which lose wars tend to learn best how to correct their mistakes, he argues that Americans tried to forget the unhappy experience with counterinsurgency by refocusing on conventional wars.

  • Facing the Hydra: Maintaining Strategic Balance while Pursuing a Global War against Terrorism

    May 01, 2002

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The author analyzes the impact of the war on terrorism and the requirements of the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review on the many essential missions conducted by the U.S. Armed Forces. Focusing primarily on the Army, he highlights the requirements associated with combat operations against terrorists, accelerating transformation and the new emphasis on homeland security and force protection.

  • Transforming Defense an Era of Peace and Prosperity

    December 01, 2001

    Edited by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The ideas and issues presented in this collection of papers from the Twelfth Annual Strategy Conference conducted by the U.S. Army War College in April 2001 will educate and inform anyone interested in the past and future course of American defense reform.

  • Landpower and Crises: Army Roles and Missions in Smaller-Scale Contingencies During the 1990s

    January 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The author analyzes the role of landpower in the 170 smaller-scale contingencies conducted by the United States during the last decade. The author especially emphasizes the recurring problems in the planning, execution, and force structure for stabilization tasks, including nation-building.

  • Alternative National Military Strategies for the United States

    December 01, 2000

    Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
    The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the Georgetown University Center for Peace and Security Studies convened a conference on "Alternative Military Strategies for the United States" to highlight the key issues that will have to be analyzed by the QDR and the new administration's security planning. This report summarizes the presentations from a distinguished group of patrons.

SSI articles, editorial, and briefs by Dr. Conrad C. Crane