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Dr. Gabriel Marcella

External Researcher

Dr. Gabriel Marcella retired in 2008 as Professor of Third World Studies and Director of the Americas Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. During his government career he served as International Affairs Advisor to the Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command. Dr. Marcella has written extensively on Latin American security issues and U.S. policy. Recent publications include the monograph American Grand Strategy for Latin America in the Age of Resentment, Security Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere: Resolving the Ecuador-Peru Conflict (coauthor/editor); and the coauthored Affairs of State: The Interagency and National Security. He has written a number of works on Colombia and Ecuador, including “The U.S. Engagement with Colombia: Legitimate State Authority and Human Rights” and “Wars Without Borders: The Colombia-Ecuador Crisis of 2008.” Dr. Marcella’s current research focuses on the Colombian crisis and U.S. strategy, national security decisionmaking, and the teaching of strategy. He is the co-founder of the Teaching Strategy Group, an interuniversity association dedicated to improving the teaching of strategy. Dr. Marcella is a commentator on Latin American security and U.S. policy in the printed and electronic media in the United States and Latin America. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the Army War College and consultant to the Project on National Security System Reform. Dr. Marcella holds a Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Notre Dame, a diploma from the Inter-American Defense College, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Ecuador.

*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. Gabriel Marcella

  • Teaching Strategy: Challenge and Response

    March 31, 2010

    Edited by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    No subject is more essential in the preparation of national security professionals and military leaders than the teaching of strategy, from grand to military strategy. Nor is there one that is more timeless and intellectually demanding. The questions dealing with teaching strategy—why we should study it, what we should teach, and how we should teach it—may bear most directly on the system of PME. However, the answers need to be applied much more broadly across a wider range of our society today. For only then can we expect to regain strategic competence, not just in the crisis of the moment but in a sustained manner well into the 21st century. The contributions to this edited volume will advance that society-wide discussion and debate. This book should stimulate discussion and introspection that will in time enhance the security of our nation.

  • Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law: Lessons from Colombia

    November 27, 2009

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    Colombia has experienced conflict for decades and, as the author observed, was a “paradigm for a failing state” in that it was replete with terrorism, kidnapping, murder, corruption, and general lawlessness. But today it is much safer through the imposition of the "Rule of Law."

  • Affairs of State: The Interagency and National Security

    January 02, 2009

    Edited by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    National security professionals need to understand how to work in the interagency process. This volume captures invaluable information and insights to assist students and practitioners.

  • War without Borders: The Colombia-Ecuador Crisis of 2008

    December 16, 2008

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    The concept of war without borders is used to analyze the strategic implications of the Colombian attack against a FARC camp inside Ecuadorean territory on March 1, 2008. Lessons learned apply directly to the policy of the United States and the hemispheric community.

  • American Grand Strategy for Latin America in the Age of Resentment

    October 04, 2007

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    A healthy Latin America is of critical value to the United States as a global power. It is besieged by a powerful force of resentment engendered by a combination of weak states, social exclusion, criminal violence, and corruption. The United States needs a new grand strategy that addresses the causes rather than the symptoms of the malaise.

  • The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity

    May 01, 2003

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    Paper identifies the strategic challenge to Colombia within the context of the weak state and ungoverned space, under attack from the violence and corruption generated bi international criminals, terrorists, and paramilitarism. Lessons learned will have powerful effects for the adaptation of American strategy to the conflict paradigm of 21st century.

  • Plan Colombia: Some Differing Perspectives

    June 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella, GEN (RET) Charles E. Wilhelm, Colombian General Alvaro Valencia Tovar, Dr. Ricardo Arias Calderon, Mr. Chris Marquis.
    Contains introduction and four papers present distinct perspectives on the potential effectiveness of Plan Colombia. Co-authors include former Commander of US Southern Command, former Vice-President of Panama, a noted Colombian military intellectual, and New York Times correspondent.

  • Plan Colombia: The Strategic and Operational Imperatives

    April 01, 2001

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    Examines the strategic theory within Plan Colombia, the master plan which the government of Colombia developed to strengthen democracy through peace, security, and economic development. Recommends that the United States and the world community assist Colombia, but the sacrifices must be made collectively by Colombians.

  • Colombia's Three Wars: U.S. Strategy at the Crossroads

    March 01, 1999

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella, Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
    U.S. policy is at a critical juncture. Can a strategy based on counter-narcotics be enough and even be separated from counter-insurgency? Authors argue no, that a more robust and comprehensive level of support is necessary, given the gravity of Colombia's problems.

  • Strategic Implications for the United states and Latin America of the 1995 Ecuador-Peru War

    November 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    The territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru broke out into war in 1995. Monograph explores historical dimensions and argues that unless the conflict is settled amicably and soon, it could well generate a more disastrous war in the future. Provides specific policy recommendations.

  • Haiti Strategy: Control, Legitimacy, Sovereignty, Rule of Law, Handoffs, and Exit

    October 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
    Author argues that the United States work to achieve limited objectives after entering Haiti with military force. The strategy should emphasize humanitarian assistance rather the open-ended goal of the restoration of democracy. This is the best hope fro success and dignified exit.

  • Reconciling the irreconcilable: The Troubled Outlook for U.S. Policy toward Haiti

    March 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Gabriel Marcella, Dr. Donald E. Schulz.
    Paper analyzes the complex nature of Haiti's internal crisis and the nature of conflict within a culture of violence, the nation's difficult history, Haiti's relationship with the United States, and the difficult choices available to policy-makers. The United States must carefully balance doing too much and too little for Haiti's worsening situation.

SSI articles, editorial, and briefs by Dr. Gabriel Marcella