Matthew Schmidt, Ph.D.

Matthew Schmidt Headshot
Assistant Professor

Political Science Department
National Security Department
College of Arts & Sciences
Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences
Education

Ph.D., Government, Georgetown University, 2011
M.A., Russian/East European Studies, University of Kansas, 2001
B.A., Government and Literature, Claremont McKenna College, 1998

About Matthew

Matthew Schmidt is an expert on U.S. military issues, Russia, Vladimir Putin, and U.S. foreign policy in North Korea. He was part of the core team on the Project on National Security Reform, an initiative sponsored by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, that recommended major reforms to the U.S. intelligence and national security community after 9/11.

The author of four books, Dr. Schmidt is currently at work on The Habit of Strategy: Confronting Complexity by Thinking Like a General, Learning Like an Artist. When he was teaching strategic and operational planning at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies, he co-authored The Art of Design, a student textbook. Instrumental in bringing planning techniques from architecture into the design curriculum, he was named to Fast Company magazine’s list of the 100 Most Creative People in 2012. His recent piece, “War as Political Work: Using Social Science for Strategic Success,” published in Military Review, integrates design principles in its strategic viewpoint.

A specialist on Russian and Eurasian affairs, Dr. Schmidt wrote one of the most widely-cited articles on the philosophy called “Eurasianism,” focusing on President Putin’s strategic thinking. He wrote a piece in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs titled “Putin is the First Alt-President,” that argued the key to understanding Russian policy in Syria, Ukraine, and North Korea is recognizing Putin’s goal to establish his legacy as a figure of grand history and Russia’s place in the world as a resurgent Great Power.

Dr. Schmidt’s research has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Hill, Newsweek, Joint Forces Quarterly, and Demokratizatsiya. His wide-ranging research interests also include the EU and the foreign policies of China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

He has worked with the Senate and House Armed Services Committee and members of Congress as a consultant on strategic planning for government, business, and the nonprofit sector. He was appointed a member of the U.S. election monitoring delegation to the Ukrainian presidential election in 2014, following the Maidan revolution.

In addition to teaching at the University of New Haven, Dr. Schmidt is a research professor with the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He has been a lecturer at Georgetown University, an assistant director at the International Place at The Claremont Colleges, and a lecturer in Russian at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Schmidt holds a Ph.D. in government from Georgetown, an M.A. in Russian and European Studies from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College. Often quoted in the media on U.S. military operations, planning, and policy, on Russia, and on U.S. foreign policy, Dr. Schmidt has been featured in Newsweek, The Hill, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Herald, and on E! Universal, Al Jazeera, WFSB-TV, and FOX61.

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Recently Published Books and Articles

Putin Was the First Alt-Right P​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​t​, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

The Good Soldier: How Pompeo Will Shape the CIA, TheHill.

Will Electric Cars Turn the World Upside D​o​w​n​?​, Newsweek.

Matthew J. Schmidt, The Habit of Strategy: Developing Strategic Leaders for Business and Government, TBP by Wiley. 

A Science of Context: The Qualitative Approach as Fundamental to Strategic Thought, in Heather Wolters, Anna Grome, and Ryan Hinds, eds., Enhancing the Army's Strategic Thinking Capability, (U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences: 2013). 

A 21st Century Eisenhower Obama's New New Look Defense Policy, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/column, November 20, 2012, at: http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/

Why doesn't the Army want to be a real Army, and think about its actual tasks?, guest post on The Best Defense, Foreign Policy hosted blog by Pulitzer Prize Winner Tom Ricks, November 6, 2012, at:http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/06/why_doesnt_the_army_want_to_be_a_real_army_and_think_about_its_actual_tasks

Enemies Foreign and Domestic, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Militar blog/column, 
August 28, 2012, at:  http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

The Struggle to Deliver Justice in Afghanistan, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military 
blog/column, July 26, 2012, at:  http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

The Afghanistan War Report Part II: Blue State, Red State and the Road Ahead, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/column, April 30, 2012, at:  http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

The Afghanistan War Report Part I: Looking back on Eleven Years, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/column, April 23, 2012, at:
http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

The Next War, A Special Forces War, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/ column, January 10, 2012, at:
http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

National Security Reform is Dead! Long Live National Security Reform?, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/column, December 13, 2011, at:
http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

Doctrine 2015: The Army's What Now Moment, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Matters Military blog/column, November 22, 2011, at:
http://journal.georgetown.edu/category/matters-military/  

MRAPs, Irregular Warfare, and Pentagon Reform, with Christopher J. Lamb, Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 55, (4th Quarter 2009). 

Christopher J. Lamb, Matthew J. Schmidt, and Berit G. Fitzsimmons. MRAPs, Irregular Warfare, and Pentagon Reform. Washington, D.C.: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University Press, 2009. 

Alex Ryan (Lead), Peter Schifferle, Michael Stewart, Alice Butler-Smith, Matthew Schmidt, John Rochelle, George Webb (Core Team), Bruce Stanley, Andrew Johnson, Michael Hutchens (Subject Matter Experts). Art of Design, Student Text, Version 2.0. Leavenworth, KS: School of Advanced Military Studies, 2009. 

Project on National Security Reform. Forging a New Shield. Arlington, VA: Center for the Study of the Presidency, Project on National Security Reform, 2008.

Future Security Drivers and Trends - 2050, Project on National Security Reform, Institute for National Security Studies, white paper, 2008. 

Description of the Current National Security System of the United States, Preliminary Findings, Project on National Security Reform, Institute for National Security Studies, white paper, 2008. 

Forging a New Shield. Arlington, VA: Center for the Study of the Presidency, Project on National Security Reform, 2008. Christopher J. Lamb (Lead), James Douglas Orton, Matt Shabat, Matthew Schmidt, Rei Tang, David Tucker (Core Team).

Is Putin Pursuing a Eurasianist Foreign Policy,? Demokratizatsiya, (Winter 2004-05). What the Hunt for Red October Can Tell Us about a Culture-Centric Approach to Warfare, Proceedings, U.S.  
Naval Institute, October 2006.

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