By Allen Ruff. Once viewed by some as a “rising star” on the University of Wisconsin campus, historian Jeremi Suri announced in early May that he was leaving Madison to pursue his fame and fortune at the University of Texas-Austin. With him went the fortunes of the short-lived Grand Strategy Program which he founded as part of a broader network of strategic studies programs currently underway on select campuses around the country. 

Over a year’s in depth look at the now defunct Wisconsin project has nevertheless provided a glimpse into the goings-on at one university in the network; one increasingly enmeshed in preparations for a “Long War” for US global power in the 21st century.

Back to the Future The University of Wisconsin-Madison was once a storied center of opposition to war and militarism, especially during the Vietnam era. Some aware of that not too distant past would have found the now-disappeared homepage for the UW Grand Strategy Program of interest. It stated that the project, while dedicated to instruction in the “grand strategy intellectual discipline,” the teaching of strategic thinking, also represented,

“… a new collaboration between the military and academic worlds and a means of overcoming the divisiveness and political polarization that have characterized the relationship since the Vietnam conflict…” [1]

What could be “new” about the collaboration, one could ask. After all, the military has had a longstanding presence at Wisconsin, maintained even through the height of the Vietnam-era antiwar protests that focused national attention on Madison. And why the interest in “overcoming the divisiveness and political polarization”?

True, Vietnam left some long lasting scars; for some a host of easily opened memory wounds. But were there no legitimate sources for the divisions and antagonisms on and off campus? If so, then why the desire implicit in the Grand Strategy statement to gloss over or erase the history of Wisconsin’s “war at home,”[2] the direct result of the UW’s complicity in that unpopular war? 

For the “grand strategists,” the aspiring strategic planners hoping to strengthen the long-existing campus ties to the military and Pentagon largesse, Wisconsin’s longer history of opposition to war and militarism apparently was something to overcome. A close look at the Madison program has provided some clear sense why. 

The UW Program, formally launched two years ago, seemingly opened a new era of direct military and national security state involvement at Madison. Never a stand-alone venture, the program under Suri, the now well-situated and well-connected foreign policy maven, was linked from the start to a nationally networked campus effort designed to train future generations of “academic warriors” [3] providing intellectual support, expertise and justification for the Long War.

Jeremi Suri and his intercollegiate associates, many with shared or similar academic backgrounds,[4] came of age in the post-9/11 world as a new breed of foreign policy intellectuals, conservative “realists” and “liberal hawks” alike, joined in a consensus of support for the global projection US power and American mission abroad. Willing and eager servants of power, many of them currently staff the academy’s imperial think tanks and classrooms.

They not only participate in the schooling of well-vetted “future leaders” tapped for the national security state bureaucracies and corporate world, but also assist in the longer term strategic planning and preparation of military officers for current conflicts and wars to come. Jeremi Suri’s story – not just what he set out to create, develop, and expand at Wisconsin, but his institutional ties and personal connections to the major players of the national grand strategy network – stands as a case study of not only this new breed but of the network to which they belong.

Suri from the Fringe to the Top?

Some were certainly surprised when the widely heralded UW “rising star” unexpectedly announced in mid-May, 2011 that he was leaving Madison for Texas.  He had regularly stated how committed he was to the UW and how much he loved Madison; that they had become his “home.”[5]

Explaining his decision to leave, he mentioned the low morale at the university, divisive “attack politics” on and off campus, and his dismay over the ongoing fiscal assault on the UW system by Gov. Scott Walker as the reasons for his exodus.[6] Salary-doubling joint appointments as the “Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at Austin’s Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law — that increasingly high-calibered locus of power in the grand strategy network — along with the prestigious Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and the Texas history department proved to be an offer he could no longer refuse.[7]

Suri’s decision to leave Madison also may have had more to do with a desire to make history rather than write it and a drive to be close to power inspired in part, perhaps, by a close identification with the subject of his second book, Henry Kissinger.[8]

In the acknowledgements of his most recent work, he explained that in the aftermath of September 11th, he was “no longer comfortable leaving the application of history to others; that he was no longer “satisfied to separate study of the past from policy making in the present.”[9]  His exit also may have had to do with a range of unanticipated obstacles hampering designs for the UW’s Grand Strategy Program.

As the affable photogenic public face and ambitious articulate promoter for the Grand Strategy and related undertakings, Suri became the media’s UW-Madison “go-to guy” and “expert,” ever ready to offer up opinion and recommend policy suggestions on a full gambit of international concerns ranging from Europe, across the Middle East and Africa, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea and China. He readily offered his thoughts on domestic issues as well and became a champion of the “New Badger Partnership“,” the stalled plan forwarded by the now–departed UW Chancellor Biddy Martin to sever the “flagship” Madison campus from the rest of the state university system and further privatize it.

Certainly prolific, Suri penned a cascade of scholarly and popular articles, regular blog site pieces and several books including a well regarded study on the global impact of the 1960s protest movements,the Kissinger biography, and a recently released selective history of US “nation-building,” as a “uniquely American creed…, part of American DNA.” [10]

He received his BA in history from Stanford in 1994 and his M.A. from Ohio University in 1996. It was at Ohio that he first studied with the central figure among today’s grand strategist academics and key architect of Yale University’s “Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy,” the conservative “dean of Cold War historians,” John Lewis Gaddis.[11]

Both Suri and Gaddis went on to Yale at approximately the same time in 1996-97 where Suri began his doctoral studies under the global historian Paul Kennedy, a co-founder and first director of Yale’s International Security Studies program (ISS). Arriving shortly after, Gaddis became an endowed professor of Cold War history and grand strategy while continuing as a Suri mentor.[12]

The hardworking ambitious student learned lessons that would serve him well as a foreign policy historian, if not ultimately at Wisconsin then elsewhere. After all, Gaddis had established himself as the major rightward critic of the 1960s left “revisionist” foreign policy historians, the influential “Wisconsin School of Diplomatic History” headed by William Appleman Williams at Madison.

Williams and his students challenged the standard interpretations on the origins of the Cold War by examining US post-war designs and culpability in the East-West conflict. Their broadened explorations of “empire as a way of life” challenged the ruling historical consensus on the benevolence of American globalism and reluctant interventionism abroad. In that sense, the Gaddis student’s arrival at the UW marked a somewhat ironic rightward turn for a history department long known for its dissenting scholarship.[13]

Suri made the climb from assistant to full professor in an unprecedented six years. Occurring in a department where tenure could normally take twice that long, it came to be applauded as “truly remarkable” by some, including the former UW Chancellor Biddy Martin.[14] He became an endowed professor in 2009 while starting that same year as the Director of the UW’s Grand Strategy Program.[15]

A number of well-positioned articles in the Madison press and elsewhere celebrated him as a nationally recognized up-and-comer and an award winning innovator, a public intellectual willing to force change in perceptions on and off campus. He spoke continuously about the need to “rethink” a UW system “based upon 19th century models” ill-prepared for its role as a national and international 21st century institution.[16]

Beginning in April, 2008, Suri and others including Prof. Paul Barford, the internet security specialist from UW-Madison Computer Sciences,  began working to pull together a number of campus associates including faculty and administrators, well-placed representatives from the non-profit corporate funding font, the University of Wisconsin Foundation and the conduit for various campus research grants and start-up ventures, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The diverse group also came to include assorted individuals not directly associated with the “university community”. 

The informal network became the “UW-Madison JASONs”,[17] named after the national consortium of campus-based scientists, still in existence, which has worked on various classified projects for the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies since 1960.[18]

Setting about “…[T]o tackle problems of significant societal importance at the state, national and/or international levels,”[19] the group’s initiators organized  a JASONs “kickoff luncheon” on October 7, 2008 to recruit additional members.[20]

Barford presented the gathering with an overview of the JASONs mission.[21] A discussion followed in which Suri emphasized “the importance of creating and sustaining the right social and intellectual space” needed to forward the group’s ideas and overall objective to reshape the university. He informed the gathering of an already existing interest in the effort at WARF and the Wisconsin Foundation.

The former UW Chancellor John Wiley, certainly the older, more experienced hand, voiced some caution. “We should also consider the types of opposition we might see to our results… [W]here [hard] scientific results are usually accepted, policy proposals from humanities and social science [sic] may receive more pushback.” Suri then introduced global strategy as a “potential area for JASON investigation” and described the strategic studies program already underway at Yale as an example to emulate. A general discussion of how such a program might look at Wisconsin ensued.

Suri informed those present that he knew of a Milwaukee benefactor, Sheldon Lubar, who might be interested in funding such a program at the UW [22] (Unmentioned in the meeting notes, at least, was the fact that Lubar just happened to be a business associate of the Yale GSP’s major backers (see below) and a former associate of the Bradley Foundation, the Milwaukee-based funding source of numerous arch-conservative efforts.[23]) Those in attendance unanimously ratified a motion to proceed with the creation of a proposal for a strategic studies project. [24]

The JASONs initially developed two cross-departmental, multi-discipline working groups. One, “Rethinking the Public University” (RPU), set about discussing plans for the cross-discipline restructuring and further integration of private-sector resources,  “public/private” ventures, to enhance the UW-Madison’s position as a “world class research university.”[25] The second, the “International Strategic Studies Collaborative” (ISS), proposed by Suri, set a course “to prepare… society for the global challenges of the 21st century.”[26] The collaborative laid the groundwork for the GSP.

Suri had already begun assembling a strategic studies working group during the late summer of 2008. That team was headed by his new grad student, the recently retired Navy Captain, Scott Mobley, hired as the administrative coordinator for both the JASONs and the ISS. It also came to include William “Bill” Tishler, later described on the GSP homepage as a “media specialist.” [27]

Already in his early fifties when he enrolled as a Suri doctoral student in September, 2008, Scott Mobley officially began that same month as the coordinator for the UW JASONs and ISS. He started out in the U.S. Navy in 1974, graduated from Annapolis in 1978, and earned an M.A. in “National Security Affairs” at the Naval Post Graduate School at Monterey, CA, in 1987 upon completion of his thesis, “Beyond the Black Box: An Assessment of Strategic War Gaming.” Following years of duty abroad, in September, 2005 he became commanding officer of UW’s Navy ROTC program, where he taught naval science until April, 2008.[28]

Mobley began his unadvertised position with funds paid through WARF, by way of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the UW-based private, nonprofit biomedical research institute. His funding as a “Morgridge Research Fellow” received same day approval after Suri sent off an e-mail to his JASONs associate, Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF and chairman of the Institute.[29]
Suri thanked Gulbrandsen for his assistance by promising that, “We will make certain this investment pays large returns around campus!!”  He informed Mobley of the “great news,” declaring that, “I am… confident that we will have a lasting impact on the university and our nation as a whole.” A bit overly optimistic perhaps, he told his new aide that, “Now we are going to change the world… For the better!” [30]

Not your ordinary grad student, the Captain played an important role in all matters military for the JASONs and GSP. Working from a JASONs office centered at the UW Business School’s Grainger Hall, [31] he soon acquired the assistance of first one and then a second staff member.[32]

Support From the Troops?

Funding remained an ongoing concern for the ISS collaborators. At the JASONs March, 2009 meeting, Mobley presented a “vision” for the development of a certificate program in international strategic studies for “military officers and government officials” to be offered entirely online, as a step toward the creation of a Masters Degree program.

He spoke of plans then underway for an online summer pilot grand strategy course “to test the waters, [to] see what kind of interest there is in the military.” Suri added that the hope was to make the online effort broad in scope, multi-discipline, “not just a military topic” but “holistic,” since  the “former dominance” of the US was not what it had been and there therefore was a need to study different forms of power.

Suri then pointed out that an accredited degree program was important since military personnel would then be covered by the GI Bill; that otherwise funding would have to be found. In some ways, the viability of the Grand Strategy Program came to hinge on DoD money.[33]

Together, the initial core group created an eight-week pilot course for the summer of 2009 that included on-campus undergrad lectures and an exclusive online option for “military, business and other adult students.” Mobley worked to redesign a non-credit online course previously offered by Suri to mold it into something appealing to the military. “In its earlier incarnations, the class was about foreign policy,” Mobley was quoted as saying. “We altered its focus to center on strategy, in addition to policy – that is, to how the country exercises material, human, and cultural power to help achieve its long-term objectives.”[34]

Suri’s “History of U.S. Grand Strategy since 1901” examined such topics as national power, territorial acquisition, market penetration, warfare, racial subjugation, and class conflict, among others. That first online grand strategy grad course had twenty-nine enrolled, twenty-two of which were reserve and active duty military officers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere recruited with Mobley’s assistance.[35]

Encouraged by the response to their first attempt, the Grand Strategy planners added another course on Problems in American Foreign Policy,” taught by the Political Science Department’s Jon Pevehouse in the summer, 2010.[36] With three online courses planned for the following summer session, Suri and company pitched a proposal for an accredited online “Capstone Certificate in Strategic Studies” to the UW administration in late 2010.

Submitted at a time of deepening reductions in the amounts of state support for the university, the proposal primarily laid out an economic argument – the potential of bringing in a relatively untapped source of Pentagon revenues based upon perceived demands for grand strategy courses and projected dollars per credit, per enrollee. The proposal spoke of an untapped potential “market” of at least 9,000 officers.[37]
Capstone and the Major
Mobley, Suri and company did more than create “distance learning” grad courses for junior officers. Through the late summer and early fall of 2009, an advisory team of UW JASONs began working with the U.S Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the Army’s warfare planning center at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. [38]   The Madison group volunteered to provide a team of “expert advisors” to assess the “Capstone Concept,” the project then underway to revise the Army’s longer range warfare guidelines in light of lessons drawn from Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel’s 2006 experience in South Lebanon.[39]

In addition to Suri and Mobley, that initial team included the JASON’s co-founder, cyber security expert Paul Barford, the nuclear engineering professor Paul Wilson, and others such as the former UW Chancellor, John Wiley, described to the TRADOC officers as a “frequent consultant for intelligence agencies and various military technology groups”.[40]

The entire project took shape with the direct assistance of the History Department’s newly hired military historian, the recently retired Army Major John Hall, last stationed as a researcher at TRADOC’s Future Warfare Division.[41] Hall had worked under the command of the highly acclaimed warrior intellectual, the then Brigadier General H.R. McMaster[42] and the idea for involving a UW team to review the Capstone project came about when Hall sent an e-mail inviting him to come speak at Madison. Declining, McMaster asked if parties at the UW would be willing to conduct an informal review of the plan.[43]

Initially recommended by a History Department search committee headed by Suri, Hall had been hired the previous spring.[44] A West Point graduate with 15 years’ experience as an infantry officer, three years’ teaching experience at the Military Academy, and expertise in the study of counterinsurgency, he completed an Army-supported History Ph.D. at North Carolina while continuing in the service.[45]

In his recommendation to the department, Suri stated that Hall “was going to help us think about the past and make it more relevant to the future,” and the new military man “was rethinking basic concepts like the American way of war, total war and counterinsurgency.” Suri found the major’s “background as a historian and his work in future warfare issues… completely complimentary.” [46]

The former army ranger hit the ground running. Acting above and beyond his first semester’s call to professorial duties, he served as the ongoing liaison for his TRADOC colleagues and the JASONs Capstone group. The Madison team met on four occasions to review and comment on a draft of the main document forwarded to Hall from Virginia, and for which he provided the initial overview.[47]

Then at the last minute, a Madison meeting scheduled for October 21, 2009 between officers from TRADOC and the UW participants had to be postponed as military higher-ups accelerated the time line for the project. That did not end the JASONs TRADOC collaboration as parties on both ends looked toward future joint efforts.[48]
Barely situated at Madison but clearly already a part of the JASONs/Grand Strategy team, Hall also wrote McMaster of “an interest in growing our grand strategy program in a number of directions.”  He asked for the Brigadier’s thoughts on how to develop something “akin to Harvard’s Strategist Program,” a joint Army-Kennedy School of Government masters degree program offering course work in strategic planning to captains returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Major also asked his former commander’s thoughts on “creating an SSC-level fellowship opportunity” –  the Army’s Senior Service College Fellowship Program through which the Pentagon funds courses at outside institutions otherwise unavailable or inaccessible to active duty personnel.[49]
It was John Hall and not Jeremi Suri who used his connections to bring the high-powered “warrior intellectual” and counterinsurgency expert, Peter Mansoor, to Madison in May, 2011. The career army officer-cum-endowed military historian and imperial think tanker at Ohio State was the founding director of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth and helped edit the highly touted Counterinsurgency Field Manual 3-24 that altered the war in Iraq.
Mansoor served as executive officer, the “right-hand man” to  Iraq occupation commander General David Petraeus from February 2007 to May 2008. Working with a team known as the “Petraeus Guys” that included H.R. McMaster, he became a key architect of the Iraq counterinsurgency strategy known as the “surge”. [50]
E-mailing Mansoor on a familiar first name basis as “Pete” beginning in September, 2010, Hall set the stage to have him speak in Madison before a public audience at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum and to a more exclusive GSP gathering.[51]  Hall clearly by that time had proven to be an important GSP asset on various fronts. His name appeared on the UW JASONs roster in 2010. [52]
Yalie Influence
The Grand Strategy Program at Madison was not cut from whole cloth. It was consciously modeled after the first such program in the country outside of the military academies and war colleges, inaugurated at Yale in 2000 under the direction of John Gaddis, the global historian Paul Kennedy, and the Iran-Contra Affair “un-indicted co-conspirator”-cum-“diplomat-in-residence,” Charles “Charlie” Hill. [53]
The high caliber year-long program, open to carefully vetted applicants, combined intensive study of the “Thucydides curriculum,” — a “grand strategy canon” first developed at the Naval War College and introduced at Yale by Gaddis,[54] — with plum internships and “real world experience.”
The Yalie “GSers” also participate in crisis simulation workshops where they design and present policy recommendations to faculty members posing as the President and his top level advisors. Guest visitors throughout the course have included then-General David Petraeus and Henry Kissinger, as well as observers from the military and the CIA.[55] Suri consciously modeled the Wisconsin GSP after the more elite, prestigious and far better funded Yale effort.

Show Me the Money

In September, 2008, some 20 younger historians and political scientists from around the country gathered at an unpublicized location, a private club nearby Yale. The participants, carefully chosen by the university’s GSP directors, had been invited to meet with the New York financial management mogul, “man of the right” and patron of the neoconservative movement, Roger Hertog. [56]
Hertog is, among other things, a chairman emeritus of the Manhattan Institute, the influential conservative social policy think tank; a board member of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute [57] and the Club for Growth,  the arch-conservative political action committee. He also served on the executive committee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the influential neo-conservative pro-Israel think tank. [58]
Most recently, in September 20, 2011, Hertog introduced Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker at a Manhattan Institute conference on “A New Social Contract: Reforming the Terms of Public Employment in America.” Embracing the controversial Republican state exec, Hertog praised him as a figure who, in the tradition of James Madison, Louis Brandeis, Ronald Reagan and Rudy Guiliani, would someday be looked upon as one who had “helped save the country.”[59]
Grand Strategy with Strings
A promoter of “strategic philanthropy,” “a supply-side vision of intellectual capitalism” and a desire to help transform the American academy, Hertog has been a staunch advocate of a conservative results-based “new philanthropy” — the replacement of open-ended funding for endowed university chairs with money for selected projects, made available on a two or three year basis. [60]
He told the Yale gathering that he was willing to spend up to $10 million to fund scholars interested in inaugurating grand strategy programs at their respective campuses. Requesting short, three-page proposals from the professors-on-the-rise detailing how they would use his seed money, he urged them to think about how to connect their projects with others around the country to leverage their collective impact and told them that he did not necessarily want exact replicas of the Yale venture. The subsequent GSPs and allied programs, among them what would become the grand strategy program at Wisconsin, evolved with his assistance.[61]
The Big Man on Campus
In late October 2009, Roger Hertog flew aboard his private jet to Wisconsin to be present at the formal launching ceremony of the UW GSP, held not in Madison but at an exclusive setting at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Coming to Madison first, he spent an afternoon witnessing what Suri and his assistants had accomplished thus far.
He sat in on Suri’s grand strategy seminar, had coffee with some students, and breakfast the next morning with “a select JASONs group” that included Mobley, John Hall, the Navy “Top Gun” instructor-cum-history grad, Marc Belson and  Mobley’s JASON’s/GSP aide, James McKay, whose “project assistantship” was covered through Hertog funds.[62] He then was driven to Milwaukee.
Introducing the Milwaukee affair was University of Wisconsin Foundation board member Sheldon Lubar, the well-heeled venture capitalist and conservative benefactor mentioned by Suri at the JASON’s “kickoff” event the year before. 

Usually viewed primarily as a generous philanthropist, Lubar also happened to be a business partner of the two men who bankrolled Yale’s Strategic Studies Program to the tune of  $17.5 million, the former Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady and transnational tycoon Charles Johnson.

Lubar welcomed the UW’s then-Chancellor Biddy Martin, who after praising the new UW program and lauding its founder’s achievements, brought up Jeremi Suri, the man of the hour there to deliver the evening’s keynote “Lubar Lecture“.[63] It was only natural that Hertog be present. After all, his money was going into the various aspects of Wisconsin’s grand strategy project.
Hertog provided an initial two-year $200,000 “start-up” fund for the Madison program. That seed money assisted officers taking the following summer’s online courses “especially suited for the needs and interests of U.S. military personnel.”[64] Since the online pilots were not part of an accredited degree or certificate program, those taking them could not receive support from the Pentagon. 

As Scott Mobley would put it later, “Without Roger Hertog’s support, we would not have been able to bring in …military officers.”[65] He went on to inform potential military applicants that some “limited financial aid” was available, however. By summer, 2010, “Hertog Fellowships” allowed service members to take selected GSP courses at no cost. [66]

Prior to the establishment of the first online pilot and starting before the formal launch of the UW GSP, Hertog funds also were used to bring a number of national security warrior academics to Madison as part of a “Hertog Distinguished Visitor’s Series.” 

Under the auspices of the Suri-led JASONs ISS collaborative, the former CIA analyst on Soviet Affairs and professor of international security studies at the National War College, Melvin Goodman, spoke as a “Hertog Visitor” before an exclusive gathering of JASONs invitees in January, 2009.[67] That March, Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac, described as the “foremost writers on counter-insurgency in the Middle East today,” appeared as “Hertog Visitors” at a University Club luncheon.[68]

Other Hertog-sponsored guests included William J. Olson, a professor at the Near East and South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. Olson was the former chief of the ‘Information Management Unit’ of the US occupation’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq.

Olson previously served as Director for Low Intensity Conflict in the Department of Defense and was a senior analyst on Southwest Asia at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. His April, 2010 talk on the “Shape of the Twenty-First Century: Once and Future Threats” dealt with intelligence reform, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and drug control issues. [69]

While they certainly did not need a stipend, appearing at a November ’09 Hertog luncheon were the major UW-Madison  alumni donors, Wade and Beverly Fetzer who discussed the future of the research university and “leadership development.”  A former partner of the global investment firm Goldman, Sachs & Co., and past chairman and member of the UW Foundation’s board of directors alongside Sheldon Lubar, Wade Fetzer had long been viewed as a potentially significant JASONs and Grand Strategy donor. [70]
Kicking off the Hertog Distinguished Speakers series in the fall, 2009 was Suri’s “old friend” and future colleague at U-Texas’s Robert Strauss Center, Francis “Frank”Gavin.  
A significant figure in the national strategic studies network, Gavin also holds an endowed chair in International Affairs at Lyndon B. Johnson School at Austin.
Previously, he was an Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, an International Security Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Research Fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. [71]
Inviting Madison financial management consultant Andrew Seaborg, a regular among the JASONs inner circle, to the smaller meeting, Suri explained that Gavin was the director of the Strauss Center, “the closest analogue at another university to what we are doing with the JASONs,” and that that he was “hoping to build some cool collaborative initiatives between the JASONs and Strauss.” [72]

Eager to garner support for the strategic studies effort, Suri also invited UW-Madison Provost Paul DeLuca, a board member of the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, who attended the noon-hour discussion on a broad range of national security issues. [73]

Also among the invitees, from off-campus, was UW-JASONs member Andrew McGuire, at the time an “intern analyst” with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, an intelligence officer in the US Naval Reserve and a member of Naval Intelligence Professionals. [74]
In keeping with the Hertog’s advice given at the October, 2009 Yale meet-up , Suri would eventually bring a number of fellow grand strategists to Madison — among them head of Duke’s Program in Grand Strategy, Peter Feaver; the CIA historian, Richard Immerman from Temple University’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD), and, again, Frank Gavin — for visits that would combine public events, often held at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, along with more intimate meetings with select UW grand strategists and JASONs members.[75]
Suri and Mobley arranged a  Madison visit, partly covered through Grand Strategy funds, by US Rear Admiral (ret.), Philip A. Dur in September, 2010. A former director of the Navy strategy division and commander of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet battle force, he also was Director of Political Military Affairs for the Middle East as a staff member to  Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council. He also became senior aide to the Secretary of the Navy.
Following his retirement, Dur moved on to a number of defense industry executive positions, including Corporate Vice President of  Northrop Grumman Corporation, the giant military contractor. In Madison, he spoke at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on “the making of foreign policy and grand strategy” on September 15 after meeting with Paul DeLuca, Provost of the UW-Madison, in a meeting arranged by Suri and attended by Mobley. [76]
The UW Simulations
Roger Hertog’s money also went toward an “emergent international crisis” simulation modeled after those  held as part of Yale’s GSP. [77] Madison’s “Grand StrategyWorkshop” took place November 6-7, 2009, under the auspices of the JASONs ISS and the GSP. It brought together some three dozen graduate and advanced undergraduate students, a number of UW faculty and outside guests including six military officers recruited by Scott Mobley from the participants in Suri’s earlier online summer course.[78]
Undergrad teams role-playing as staff members to the National Security Council were asked to prepare two sets of policy recommendations based upon hypothetical “strategic situation briefs” – one on possible national responses following the attacks of 9/11; and a second on foreign policy options to be presented to President-elect Obama’s transition team. GSP faculty and invited guests posing as the President, Cabinet officials, and members of the Joints Chiefs of Staff grilled the presenters.[79]
The planning and actual content for the workshop was carried out by Scott Mobley and John Hall, with input from Jon Pevehouse and others.[80] To kick off the event, Suri arranged an appearance and talk by the high powered strategic planner and former adviser to the National Security Council, Peter Feaver, head of the American Grand Strategy Program at Duke University and director of the prestigious Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS).
Feaver spoke to the group on “Bridging the Gap Between Scholarship and International Policy-Making.” While in town, he also breakfasted with the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations and presented a talk at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on “Civil-Military Relations and the Surge Decision” [81]
“The Mentors”

Each undergrad team was assigned “mentors” to guide them in their tasks, some brought in with expenses covered by Hertog money. Among the advisers were several with interesting credentials, to say the least, all of whose names would come to appear as members of the UW JASONs.  One was Marc Belson, already on board as a UW history graduate student. Listed online as a “Permanent Military Professor Fellow at [the] University of Wisconsin-Madison,” he was a Naval Flight Officer, a Graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (“Topgun”) and holds a Masters degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.[82]

Previously a GSP  online summer student, George Dryden worked as a civilian security advisor for the Department of Defense and was a “Senior Strategist at HQ Department of the Army” at the Pentagon when he flew in to act as a GSP mentor that November. He went to Afghanistan in 2010 as part of a senior advisory team assisting the Afghan Ministry of Defense and subsequently recommended other candidates for the GSP’s online courses.

From 2002-2005, he worked as a “senior manager” at Decisive Analytics Corporation of Arlington, Virginia, an employee-owned engineering company with contracts to the US intelligence community, the Missile Defense Agency, and the Department of Defense. He and Belson subsequently appeared on the JASONs roster, listed simply as “Department of the Army.”[83]

Perhaps the most interesting of the workshop “mentors,” at least of the ones for which some details are known, was Lieutenant Colonel Eric Rotzoll, a military man with intelligence community connections. As a Deputy Commander of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Zabul Province, Afghanistan in 2004-05, he planned and led civil affairs operations in support of counter-insurgency in the region. From 2006-2010, he worked as an “all source analyst” for Defense Department intelligence subcontractor, Northrop Grumman. Still with the military at that time, he also served from July 2008 to July 2009, as a Human Terrain Team (HTT) Leader in Afghanistan.[84]The HTTs came directly out of the Army’s warfare planning command, TRADOC, and were conceived to provide social science support to military operations . The teams, ostensibly comprised of privately contracted civilian anthropologists and other social scientists, have been assigned to each Army brigade in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2007. Armed on patrol, such “academic embeds” have worked to provide cultural and social “human intelligence” or “humint” on various “locals” as part of the counterinsurgency effort in both countries.[85]

In January, 2009, an embedded journalist moving with a HTT unit on the ground in Afghanistan identified Rotzoll as “the man in charge” and “a former analyst for the CIA….”[86] No mere enlisted man, but an academically trained intelligence warrior, Rotzoll apparently brought a particular added expertise to the “Grand Strategy Workshop”.  His name also subsequently appeared on the UW JASONs roster for 2009-2010, listed simply as “US Army”.[87]

Another Yale Man
A second Grand Strategy “strategic workshop” took place on April 1-3, 2011, not long before Jeremi Suri’s announced departure and the subsequent demise of the Madison venture. The featured guest at the exercise was Suri’s former Yale strategic studies classmate, Jeff “Jeb” Nadaner.
Finishing at Yale in 2002, Nadaner became a senior speechwriter for then Secretary of State Colin Powell and a member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, that body’s chief strategic arm at State. In 2004, he worked on the “war on terrorism strategy” as a special assistant to Donald Rumsfeld’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, neoconservative war hawk Douglas Feith.
A strategic planning specialist, Nadaner then went on to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations (i.e., Pentagon-directed “nation building” and “reconstruction” efforts in Iraq and elsewhere.) Switching to the private sector in 2008, he became “Director of Strategy,” at the nation’s top defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, where he now sits as “Director of National Security Innovation”.[89]

The “strategic workshops” in some ways came to exemplify the UW-Madison’s Grand Strategy Program. Special guests, the academic warriors like Duke’s Peter Feaver and Jeb Nadaner, typified the broader matrix of personal ties and professional connections that developed as part of the grand strategy network in the decade after September 11.
The military “mentors” used in the exercises typified the kind of future student that the JASONs “strategic studies collaborative” and Jeremi Suri’s team were hoping to attract as they worked to create an accredited “certificate program in strategic studies” and online Masters degree program.
Perhaps overly optimistic in the early Spring of 2011, Mobley could tell those inquiring about strategic studies courses to “Stay tuned!” — that the program would soon  be offering accredited online certificates and an eventual masters degree, and that additional courses would be available in the Fall, 2011.[90]
But designs for an expanded interdepartmental “distance education” program offering a “Capstone Certificate in Strategic Studies,” and resultant Pentagon-paid tuitions seemed to stall, in the late spring, 2010, just as Roger Hertog’s “funding cycle” for the GSP drew to a close.

Grandiose Strategy?

That May, Jeremi Suri revealed that he was headed for Texas. The future of Wisconsin’s Grand Strategy Program certainly appeared unclear following his announcement.  No one at Madison, after all, had the strategic campus ties that he had cultivated since his UW arrival. Nor did anyone locally have quite the pedigreed personal and professional connections with that wider national circle of warrior academics occupying allied strategic studies centers and think tank chairs across the country.
His Madison aide, the good Captain Mobley, voiced uncertainty regarding his future as coordinator of the GSP and the JASONs while some wondered if the History Department’s Major Hall, not quite two years on the scene, might become a different type program director with his own set of warrior intellectual bonds. Talk circulated that the GSP would move to a new intellectual home in the Political Science department.
Then, through the summer and into the fall, it became clear that everything was entirely in flux. The various web pages for the UW Grand Strategy Program slowly disappeared, as did the JASONs site. Scott Mobley, who in the late spring voiced uncertainty regarding his renewal as the GSP and JASONs coordinator, in October confirmed that the JASONs had been dissolved, as well.
What remained certain, regardless of Suri’s exit and the demise of the UW GSP, was that the University would continue to pin its future on remaining a major research institution, a decreasingly public and increasingly corporatized international player wedded to the national security state and its imperial projects.
At the inaugural meeting of the UW JASONS meeting back in October, 2008, John Wiley had cautioned about the possible “push back” from some quarters when Suri spoke of the “importance of creating and sustaining the right social and intellectual space” for their various efforts and first formally proposed what led to the Grand Strategy Program.[103] With the JASONs and the GSP looking bright in January, 2010, Suri could tell a JASONs inner circle gathered at an off-campus “retreat” that, “We have achieved a lot of our goals: attention, support, fear, etc.” Discussing the “need for more outcomes” and ways to “contribute to public discussions and public policy,” he highlighted a desire to remain “out front,” and to “expand the pace to silence critics.”[104]
So why the concern with “push back” and “opposition,” talk of instilling “fear” as an accomplishment, and a perceived need to “silence critics”? In part, such thinking certainly suggested an assessment of the resistance to change from those defending long-entrenched ways of doing things and departmental “turf” concerns.
It also reflected an overarching goal to maintain “business as usual,” the undisturbed and uninterrupted annual flow of multi-sourced hundreds of millions in research and development dollars, the lifeblood of a major research university.  As significant, it also implied a certain uneasiness regarding the notion of close public scrutiny and debate, of critical challenges from faculty, students and the broader public in regard to an increasing militarization and national security state presence on campus.
Suri and others hoped to neutralize potential critics: those who would object to the further militarization of university life; those who might maintain an oppositional perspective in regard to the military and its role as imperial spearhead and interventionist gendarmerie. Suri was keen to stay out “in front,” ahead of those in the arena of public opinion who might object to war-related dealings and the corrupting influence of funding from the military corporate complex with its allied network of think tanks, foundations and “philanthropists.”
Underlying all else and left unstated was a deep concern that the campus might once again become a center of opposition to war and intervention and university complicity in such; that the specter of “divisiveness” and “polarization” haunting Madison since the 1970s could rise again to engender a real “pushback”.
*Steve Horn is a Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog, as well as a freelance investigative journalist. Allen Ruff is a U.S. historian and independent writer on foreign policy issues. Both live in Madison, WI.
Not to be quoted or reproduced without the permission of the authors

[1] (Retrieved, July 10, 2010, the main homepage and related links for the UW Grand Strategy Program became unavailable, disappeared from the web, in September, 2011. Hardcopies of the original pages are in the possession of the authors.)
[2]  Following the course of its development from the early 1960s, The War at Home, a 1979 Academy Award nominee for best full length documentary, still stands as the best single study of Madison’s Vietnam era anti-war movement.
[3] The term used by education critic and opponent of increasing militarization of the American university, Henry Giroux. In his Washington Rules, former military man-cum political scientist and critic of the permanent warfare state, Andrew Bacevich refers to the civilian war makers as the “semi-warriors”. Henry Giroux:; Re: Andrew Bacevich, for starters see: The term “warrior intellectual” used on occasion through this study, refers specifically to those former career military personnel who have moved through the revolving door from service in uniform to civilian life but who continue to serve in the government, the universities, corporate think tanks and foundations as advisors, policy planners, and ideologues.
[4] While not all of this new breed of post-9/11 grand strategy academics shared a common background, a remarkable number of this cohort completed their doctoral degrees at Yale University between the mid 1990s and the early 2000s or after. Most, if not all the Yalies received degrees in history and strategic studies under the tutelage of John Gaddis, Paul Kennedy, and Charles Hill, often referred to as the Grand Startegy “Triumvirate” at New Haven.  In addition to Suri, Yale grads with ties to the grand strategy network include: Mathew Connolly at Columbia  (; Mark Lawrence and William Imboden at Texas (;  William Hitchcock, formerly at Temple and now Virginia, (; Hal Brands at Duke University,(; Erez Manela at Harvard, (; and Fredrick Logeval at Cornell,  ( . Graduating from Yale in 2002, a year after Suri, Jeffrey “Jeb” Nadaner became a Senior Speechwriter for the Secretary of State Colin Powell and a Member of the Policy Planning Staff/Special Assistant (2002 to 2004) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (2004 to 2008) before moving to the private sector where he became Director of Strategy at the major DoD contractor, Lockheed Martin. (

[5] A November, 2009 piece quoted Suri as saying, “We [professors] shouldn’t seek outside offers unless we’re serious about leaving, and I’ve never been serious about leaving…” and, “The university has been good to me.”  “I love living here,” he stated. “It’s a community where you can be involved in serious work, but in a comfortable place to raise kids, free of a lot of pressures and dangers of other areas. It’s filled with intellectual energy.” [Jennifer A. Smith, “Inside agitator:…,”]

[6] Suri, “Destroying Ourselves,” Global Brief [blog]  Todd Finkelmeyer, “UW-Madison loses history star: ‘It’s been a really hard year here’,” Capital Times (Madison) Friday, May 20, 2011.

[7] Suri became the first “Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the Strauss Center,” named for Texas football coach, Mack Brown, currently the highest paid football coach in the country with a package from the University of Texas to the tune of $5 milllion dollars in 2009. (

In 2008, Suri resigned from the UW Athletic Board with complaints regarding lack of oversight and input over the university’s multi-million dollar program under the reign of former football coach and head of UW Athletics Barry Alvarez (

[8] To some remarkable extent, Suri’s clear ambition, drive and apparent desire to be close to power have come to mirror that of Kissinger as he, Suri describes it in his in-close biography of that arch-servant of power. Especially illuminating are the parallels between the young Kissinger at Harvard and the author’s own ascent, shared world view, and ambition. See: Jeremi Suri, Henry Kissing and the American Century. (Cambridge: Harvard, 2007) passim.

[9] Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (New York: Free Press, 2011) 339.

[10] Power and Protest: global revolution and the rise of détente (Cambridge: Harvard, 2005). For a critical review, see: “Greg Grandin on Jeremi Suri, Power and Protest,”; Henry Kissinger and the American Century; Liberty‘s Surest Guardian: American Nation-building from the Founders to Obama

[11] “Days of Duck and Cover” Yale Alumni Magazine (March 2000 )
[12] In a 2011 Texas press release announcing Suri’s departure from Wisconsin, Gaddis was quoted as saying his former student, “… is, in my view, the most impressive young professor of international history in the country. I’m proud to have had him as my student, and am even prouder to learn that he’ll now be joining the faculty of my alma mater, the University of Texas. This is a major coup for the History Department, the LBJ School, and the Strauss Center, and I couldn’t be more pleased…”  [“Dr. Jeremi Suri Joins the Strauss Center,”].

[13] Williams left Madison in 1968. His post as historian of US foreign policy was filled by his “Wisconsin School” student, Thomas J. McCormick, who was succeeded by Suri upon retirement. For Williams, see:  Paul M. Buhle and Edward Rice-Maximin, William Appleman Williams: The Tragedy of Empire (Routledge, 1995).

[14] Recording of Chancellor Biddy Marin’s introduction of Suri at his Fall 2009 “Lubar Lecture”
[15] Suri also became a “senior fellow” at the UW’s Center for  World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) and  Director of the European Union Center of Excellence

[16] Jennifer A. Smith, “Inside agitator…, op.cit.; “The Future of American Universities” Global Brief (blog), September 5, 2010, ; “Bringing knowledge and policy together” Global Brief (blog) April 28, 2010.

[17] The webpage, no longer functioning, for the Wisconsin group simply stated that it was named in the “spirit of the original JASONs,” an independent body of scholars, “composed of notable younger scientists from diverse disciplines,” whose role was  “to consider and report to various government agencies on a broad set of topics of national interest.” (Hard copies of the original UW-JASONs statement of purpose in possession of the authors.)
[18] Established in 1960 and still in existence, the national JASONs is an “independent scientific advisory group” that provides consulting services to the U.S. government on matters of defense science and technology. The JASONs has conducted studies under contract to the Department of Defense, most frequently for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy, as well as the Department of Energy, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and the FBI. Approximately half of resulting JASON reports are have been unclassified.
Founded in 1958, DARPA became the DoD’s “primary innovation engine.” The Agency’s website states that its mission is “to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military… by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use…,” and that DARPA “has worked to enhance… national security by funding research and technology development.” To fulfill its mission, “the Agency relies on diverse performers to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to both advance knowledge through basic research and create innovative technologies that address current practical problems through applied research…” ( and  Still in existence, the body’s headquarters are located at the JASON Program Office at the MITRE Corporation, a “not-for-profit federally funded research and development company.”
Numerous JASON studies have to do with the development of new cutting edge technology concepts for the “electronic battlefield” and the nuclear weapons arsenal. In the early 1990’s, a couple of studies were done on climate change, in the mid 1990’s studies started into the human genome, and still a couple of years later this science was combined with nanotechnology. Almost all of these studies are conducted to see if these technologies can be used to maintain a military advantage over the enemy, offensive or defensive. Recent studies have also involved the concept of Homeland Security. A good example of this is the 2002-2003 study ‘Biodetection Architectures’. Since a lot of JASONs are university professors, most studies are conducted in the summer when the students are on leave. It is believed that each year about 15 studies are conducted, half of them classified. Still, most studies aren’t available at this moment, especially not those from the 1980’s and back. Many of the unclassified studies from the 1990’s are also unavailable. [For JASONs history, see:  The JASONs – The Secret History of Science’s Postwar Elite (New York, Viking/Penguin, 2006)]
The authors of this study have not been able to verify any direct connections between the present-day JASONs at the national level and the grouping at the University of Wisconsin or how the Madison body acquired its name. They note that the website for the UW JASONs speaks of its namesake in the past tense, and makes no reference to it as an ongoing organization.
[19] “Vision Statement for JASONs at UW-Madison” (Enclosure 2, dated May 15 2009), in “University of  Wisconsin – Madison JASONs Annual Report Academic Year 2008-2009” (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[20] E-mail: “Invitees for 7 Oct Luncheon” From: Arthur Scott Mobley To: Jeremi Suri, September 28, 2008 (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs administrative records. In possession of authors.)  The informal network grew from 38 members at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year to 77 the following year.  It eventually came to include not only faculty, grad students, academic staff, and representatives of various campus institutes and centers, but also numbers of higher-ups and influential members of the UW administration, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the rrivate and members of the military. (“Annual Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison JASONs, Academic Year 2009-2010”. (Photocopy. Acquired via WI Open Records requests, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[21] Madison JASONs, “Meeting Notes, October 7, 2008” (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs. In Possession of the authors.)  Barford was one of the originators and became a mainstay of the group.  In addition to Suri and Scott Mobley, others attending that first formal meeting included the former U.W. Chancellor John Wiley (;  Economics professor  and games theorist Bill Sandholm ( ) ; Paul Wilson from Engineering Physics (;  Computer Science’s  Remzi-Arpaci Deseau ( ); Francois Ortalo-Magne of the U.W. Business School’s Real Estate Program ( );   Professor of Law and Bioethics, Alta Charo (  and Biomedical Engineering’s Kristyn Masters (   One of the invitees not present at that “kickoff” meeting but who played an important role in getting the UW JASONs off the ground was Carl Gulbrandsen, Managing Director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and a chairman  of the Morgridge Institute for Research ( ). Mike Knetter, at the time Dean of the U.W. Business School and now President and C.E.O of the U.W. Foundation (,  assisted in providing an outfitted office at the Business School’s Grainger Hall. Sandy Wilcox, at the time head of the Foundation. ( ) appeared on the list of JASONs associates for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 in  JASONs Annual Reports. (In possession of the authors)
[22] The meeting notes did not say if Suri mentioned how he knew of Lubar or why he thought the Milwaukee investor and venture capitalist might want to assist in funding the project. Suri would subsequently meet with Lubar in Milwaukee to discuss the project. (E-mail: “October 27th date firm for Lubar Lecture” – set time to visit” From: Beth Wells [U.W. Foundation] To:, July 7, 2009  (and subsequent thread)  (Photocopy, acquired under WI Open Records Law, Jeremi Suri file. In possession of authors) While setting up the September 10, 2009 meeting with the Lubars, Suri requested that “Nicholas Brady (former business partner of Shel Lubar and Secretary of the Treasury) and Roger Hertog (donor to the Grand Strategy Program)” be invited to the October 27th “Lubar Lecture,” celebrating the launching of the UW program. (E-mail: “Re: 11.30 Sept 10th (needs to be confirmed),” From: Suri To: Beth Wells, July 14, 2009. (Photocopy. Acquired under WI Open Records Law, Jeremi Suri file. In possession of authors) Lubar introduced the speakers at that formal launching ceremony.  (“Minutes from JASONs Meeting, 7 Oct, 2008” (Photocopy from U.W. JASONs files acquired under WI Open Records Law. In possession of authors).

[23] A former U.W. Board of Regents member, major Business School donor and philanthropist, and head of   Lubar & Co., Inc., Milwaukee venture capitalist Sheldon Lubar co-chairs the overseas investment firm, Darby Overseas Investment, alongside former US Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas F. Brady and Charles B. Johnson who, together bankrolled Yale’s Grand Strategy Program with a $17.5 million, fifteen-year endowment.  ( and )

Numerous business ventures aside, Lubar also served as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration; director of the Federal National Mortgage Association; and commissioner of the White House Conference on Small Business. In 1991, he was appointed a regent of the University of Wisconsin System. In 1987 Lubar became a director of the UW-Milwaukee Foundation and served as its president from 1988 to 1990. Re: The Bradley Foundation and Lubar’s connection, see:  “The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc.” (
Lubar money, by way of the Lubar Family Foundation, has also gone to the rightward leaning public policy think tank, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.(  His son, David sits on the WPRI Board of directors. (

[24] Madison JASONs, “Meeting Notes, October 7, 2008,” op.cit.
[25] The RPU committee prepared “white papers” for Chancellor Biddy Martin’s office and members of the group played an active role in promoting the “New Badger Partnership,” the Martin plan to give the U.W.-Madison  more “flexibility” and “competitiveness” by separating it from the rest of the state university system. (“UW-Madison JASONs Project Collaborative Proposal – Team Name: Rethinking the Public University (RPU) Collaborative” [Enclosure 4] in “JASONs Annual Report, AY 2008-2009” [Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW Jason records. In possession of authors]
[26] “UW-Madison JASONs Collaborative Proposal, January 21 2009 – International Strategic Studies (ISS) Collaborative” (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records, U.W. JASONs. In possession of authors.)
“JASONs Meeting, 03/12/09”  and “UW JASONs  March 12, 2009” [photocopy of power point in possession of authors.] The ISS working group presented a formalized statement of its mission and goals in the JASONs annual report for 2008-2009. (“UW-Madison JASONs Project Collaborative Proposal – Team Name: International Strategic Studies (ISS) Collaborative” [Enclosure 5] in “JASONs Annual Report, AY 2008-2009” [Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW Jason records. In possession of authors.]
[27] William “Bill” Tishler’s photo appeared on the Grand Strategy Program’s home page until the website was taken down not long after Jeremi Suri announced his planned departure from the UW. Solely listed on the page as a “media specialist,” he clearly played different roles, as evident in the records of the Grand Strategy Program . (Hardcopy reproductions of the homepage in possession of the authors.) ( and; )
[28] Mobley saw duty aboard a number of navy vessels.  He held a command in the Middle East during the 1991 Gulf War and from Sept. 1994 to Dec. 1996, he headed the Navy Section of the U.S. Military Group at Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to the UW GSP website, “He commanded USS/Camden/(AOE-2) in the Persian Gulf during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.” and
[29] The e-mail from Suri requesting funding for Mobley clearly reveals that Gulbrandsen was fully aware of the JASONs, part of the effort from early on.  Informing the man from WARF of an earlier meeting with JASON co-founder Paul Barford, Suri spoke of an upcoming get together with former UW Chancellor John Wiley, at the time acting director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID) “to discuss his active participation in the JASONs, and connecting the work of the JASONs with WID”. After speaking of JASON plans for the fall semester, he put in a lengthy pitch for Mobley that went so far as to suggest that the new hire would reflect “the Wisconsin Idea in action”. He finished by telling Gulbrandsen that “…Paul and I are VERY (emphasis in original) excited to make the JASONs a ‘mini-Noble Institute,’ working with WID, on campus. We can learn a lot from our Norwegian forefathers!”  The son of an Indian father and a Jewish mother, the ever enthusiastic professor did not mention who his actual forefathers were or that he often referred to himself as a “Hinju”. (E-mail: “Subject: JASONs” From Jeremi Suri, To: Carl Gulbrandsen, CC: Paul Barford Friday, August 8, 2008 (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASON. In possession of authors.)
WARF, set up in the 1920s to handle revenues from discoveries and inventions made by Wisconsin faculty, is the UW’s nonprofit technology transfer office and backer, to the tune of $45 million per year, of numerous private sector start-up projects initiated by UW researchers and others. The UW-affiliated Morgridge Institute for Research is a private, nonprofit biomedical research institute currently headed by JASON member Sangte Kim. Carl Gulbrandsen is listed as the chairman of the MIR.
[30] E-mails:  “Great News!!!” From Jeremi Suri to CAPT Scott Mobley, August 8, 2008; “Re: JASONS” From Suri to Mobley, August 9, 2008. JASONs operating expenses also came from WARF. (E-mail: “UW-Madison JASONs Budget for AY 2010-2011 + Receipts,”  From: Scott Mobley, To: Kathi Stanek  [Controller for the MIR at WARF], Sept. 14, 2010.)  The JASONs annual report for 2009-2010 could also report that an additional $235.000 for support of the effort had been raised from unnamed “external sponsors” over the previous two years.  “Annual Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison JASONs, Academic Year 2009-2010”. (Photocopies. Acquired via WI Open Records requests, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[31] Ryan J. Foley, “Univ. of Wisconsin reaching out to military,” Associated Press Jun 28, 2009. The office space at Grainger Hall was acquired through the direct assistance of the former Business School Dean and current head of the UW Foundation, Mike Knetter. (Records in possession of authors.)
[32] Two additional Suri grad students with military backgrounds, James McKay and Andrew Thompson eventually joined the team as Mobley’s assistants.  Suri grad student James Mckay functioned as an administrative assistant for the program. An Army sergeant, Andrew Thompson became the JASONs “communications director” Beginning in January, 2010. He also worked as an “Assistant Program Manager, Executive Education” at the UW.  (
[33] JASONs Meeting 03/12/09 [Notes] and “UW JASONs  March 12, 2009” [powerpoint] (Photocopy reproduction. Acquired through WI Open Records request, U.W. JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[34] John Allen, “Strategic Study Group – Web-based history course reaches out to members of the military.”  On Wisconsin Magazine, Winter, 2009. University of Wisconsin-Madison News,  August 2009,
[35] “International Strategic Studies – News and Information from the University of Wisconsin-Madison” [Suri blog] (Retrieved, 8/01/11); “Annual Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison JASONs, Academic Year 2009-2010”. (Photocopy. Acquired via WI Open Records requests, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
Tuition for the pilot courses, not covered by the Pentagon, was subsidized by Roger Hertog, patron of the national network of GSPs.  (“RE: UW-M Online Course” (E-mail thread.)  From: Jesse Pruitt to Todd Finkelmeyer, August 6, 2010; From: Jeremi Suri To:  Jesse Pruitt, August 16, 2010 (Photocopies. Acquired via Open Records request, UW Grand Strategy. In possession of authors.)

[36] Todd Finkelmeyer, “Classes on the go: Distance education becoming more popular” Capital Times (Madison), August 10, 2010,  For Pevehouse:

[37] “Proposal for a Certificate in strategic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 22 August 2010” (Photcopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request. In Possession of Authors.)
[38] For basics on TRADOC:; TRADOC was then under the command of Gen. Martin Dempsey, more recently named Army Chief of Staff by President Obama.

[39] See, also: “Army Capstone Concept balances winning today’s wars with preparing for future conflict”, (Retrieved, 8/26/11).  The Concept was adopted in April, 2010:  Army “Operating Concept provides Capstone follow-up”

[40] Initially, there was a plan to have a JASONs team go to Ft. Monroe. That group selected  by Suri and the recently hired military historian John Hall, included not only Profs. Barford and Wilson and John Wiley, but political scientist Jon Pevehouse, soon to offer his own GSP courses based on his background in International Relations. Prof. Vicki Bier with a background on nuclear proliferation issues also was included, as was Scott Mobley. [E-mail: “ACC informal review” From John Hall too HR McMaster, August 5, 2009. (Photocopy acquired through U.W. Open Records request, re: John Hall. In possession of authors.)]
When scheduling difficulties made it impossible for the Madison team to go to Virginia, an Army Capstone team made arrangements to come to Wisconsin. At that point, the number of those working on the JASON’s ISS team was expanded to include: the former Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Molly Jahn; history grad student and  UW “Permanent Military Professor Fellow” Marc Belson; The GSP’s ‘Media Specialist”, Bill Tishler; history grad Robbie Gross, John Nelson from the UW Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and Karen Masters from Biomedical Engineering. (E-mail: “Agenda for TRADOC visit” From: James Shelley McKay, To: [list], October 19, 2009; Email: “post pone [sic] visit” from Col. Bob Johnson, TRADOC, To: [List] October 21, 2009 (Photocopies. Acquired through WI Open Records request. In possession of authors.)

[41] On Hall:; “Empty Chair No More” Inside Higher Ed (August 13, 2011),

[42] McMaster became director of Concept Development and Experimentation at the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), a division of TRADOC in August, 2008. He won notoriety in military circles for his exploits on and off the battlefield. A West Point graduate with a history Ph.D., his thesis on the conduct of the Vietnam War, published in 1998 as Dereliction of Duty, criticized high-ranking officers of that era, by charging they inadequately challenged Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson’s military strategy.
In Iraq in 2005, he worked directly under General David Petraeus and helped plan and implement what eventually became referred to as “the surge”.  His success as a regimental commander in securing the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, a former insurgent stronghold, won him further recognition.  An exemplary “warrior intellectual” with a Ph.D., from North Carolina, he also has been a research and national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institute,  a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, (;  a speaker at various think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, (;  and a Senior Research Associate at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. (
In July, 2010 McMaster shipped off to serve directly under General David Petraeus as Deputy to the Commander for Planning, at the ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces) headquartered in Kabul. McMaster also came to direct a “joint anti-corruption task force” as part of a broader counterinsurgency effort to win “hearts and minds” in the country.
[43] E-mail. From John Hall to H.R. McMaster , August 5, 2009. (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request., re: John Hall. In possession of authors.)  Hall and McMaster had a close working relationship evidenced by the way in which Hal addressed his fromer superior – not as “sir” but as “H.R.”
[44] Asking for and receiving a starting salary of over $100,000, a sum well beyond the average $60 to $65,000 figure for incoming history department assistant professors, John Hall was hired as the Ambrose-Hesseltine Assistant Professor of U.S. Military History. See:”Heads-Up on Hesseltine-Ambrose Search”. E-mail from David McDonald [Chair, History Department] to Gary Sandefur [Dean, UW Letters & Science] February 16, 2009; “Faculty Search Report –Ambrose-Hesseltine Faculty Chair…”;  “Request for permission to offer position of Ambrose-Heseltine Chair… in U.S. Military History to Major Hall” From: David McDonald, To: Associate Dean Magdalena Hauner, (March 2 2009). (Photocopies acquired through Wisconsin Open Records request, re: John Hall. In possession of authors.)

Hall’s job interview process was not typical since representatives of local veterans organizations, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, and the Wisconsin Historical Society got to weigh in on the search. Jenny Price, “The Tug of War,” On Wisconsin Magazine (Fall, 2010); “UW-Madison makes an unlikely ally: the military” Associated Press, June 28, 2009;

Hall was selected by a search committee headed by Suri which narrowed the pool of 33 applicants down to two, the Major and Jonathan Winkler. Currently at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Winkler researches and teaches U.S. foreign relations, U.S. military and naval history, international history, security studies and strategic thought.

A student of John Gaddis and Paul Kennedy, Winkler came out of the same Yale doctoral program that produced Jeremi Suri three years earlier. He excelled as an undergrad, completing his B.A. in 1997 at Ohio University at the time Suri and John Gaddis were there. Before Wirigh state, he taught elsewhere includinh the US Naval Academy. In 2009-2010, the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command funded his research in U.S. naval history. In 2010-2011 he held a faculty research fellowship in international security funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation. [“Jonathan Winkler” in “Faculty Search Report – Ambrose Hesseltine Faculty Chair in U.S. Military History, 16 February 2009”  (Typescript photocopy. Acquired via WI Open Records request, re: John Hall. In possession of authors).;  For Winkler, see: and]

[45] Ibid.; Ryan J. Foley, “UW-Madison makes an unlikely ally: the military,” (June 28, 2009).;  UW-Madison hires military history professor,” (Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, April 1, 2009); The work that helped Hall win his UW appointment, Uncommon Defense: Indian Allies in the Black Hawk War, examined the US Army’s relationship with competing regional tribes in defeating Black Hawk in 1830s Illinois and Wisconsin. Publicity for the monograph featured a blurb from Hall’s TRADDOC commander, H.R. McMaster, which praised the study as, “… a must-read for those who want to understand better… the complexity of wars fought amongst indigenous peoples….” and “instructive as the United States and its allies confront tribal societies in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan while endeavoring to defeat transnational enemies and shape the course of local conflicts…”

[46] “Historian, Army officer hired to teach military history at UW-Madison,”  University of Wisconsin News, April 1, 2009.
[47] E-mails: “Army Capstone Concept” From : John Hall, To: Jeremi Suri, Scott Mobley; August 21, 2009; “UW JASONs review of the U.S. Army Capstone Concept,” From: Scott Mobley, To: Jon Pevehouse, CC: James McKay, Sept. 5, 2009  (Photocopies. Acquired through WI Open Records request. UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)  Meetings listed in “Annual Report University of Wisconsin-Madison JASONs, Academic Year 2009-2010” (Enclosure 3) (Photocopy. Acquired through Open Records request UW JASONs. In possession of authors; Minutes of the successive meetings. In Possession of the authors.)
[48] When the meeting scheduled for October 22 had to be cancelled, TRADOC’s “team leader,” Col. Bob Johnson wrote to the UW Capstone team expressing his regrets and suggested meeting  that November 6th to, “discuss our ideas on how to frame the problem of and solutions to future armed conflict.”  The message was “CC’d” to John Hall using his military e-mail address, rather than his UW e-mail account. (Email: “post pone [sic] visit,” From: Col. Bob Johnson, TRADOC, To: [List] October 21, 2009 (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request. In possession of authors.) The annual JASON’s report for 2009-2010 noted Col. Johnson’s  “expressed hope” to meet at some future date to begin what we believe will be a valuable relationship” (“JASONs Annual Report, AY 2009-2010” (Photocopies acquired through UW Open Records request. In possession of authors.)
[49] An air of familiarity runs through the E-mails between Hall and his Army Capstone colleagues. His notes to his former commander, for example, are informally addressed to “H.R.” . Judging from the text of his note regarding McMAster’s advice regarding funding for the GSP, the commander already had some prior knowledge of the program.  E-Mail, From John Hall to H.R. McMaster, August 5, 2009 (Photocopy. Acquired via WI Open records request, John Hall. In possession of authors) Re: Harvard Strategist Program,; re: the the Army’s SSC Fellowship Program,
[50] “Interview With General Petraeus’s Former Executive Officer,” War News Digest, June 26 2010. a first Iraq combat tour in 2003-05, then Colonel Mansoor served at the Council on Foreign Relations as a senior military fellow. He then became the founding director of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, where he helped edit the highly touted counterinsurgency field manual that reshaped the Iraq War ( Back in Baghdad, he became commanding General David Petraeus’ executive officer. Working along with H.R. McMaster and others referred to as the “Petraeus guys,” he became known as a key architect of the Iraq war “surge,” widely thought to have altered the situation in Iraq. Retiring after 26 years in the service and already a history Ph.D., in 2008 he headed to Ohio State where he became the endowed chair of military history and a fellow with the Mershon Center for International Security at Ohio State.
Re: Mansoor, ;;; and For an example of the type of work that counterinsurgency expert Mansoor has done at Mershon, see:  the May, 2010 conference on Hybrid Warfare: The Struggle of Military Forces to Adapt to Complex Opponents,
[51] Hall’s emails to Mansoor were addressed to ‘Pete”. E-mails: “Invitation to speak at UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum” From: John W. Hall, To: Peter Mansoor, Thursday, September 23, 2010; From: Hall To: Jeffrey Kollath, Jeremi Suri, CC: Scott Mobley, December 10, 2010 (Photocopies. Acquird through WI Open records request. In possession of authors.)   Mansoor spoke at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum on May 6, 2011, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Department of History, the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), and the Grand Strategy Program[ and]
[52] “UW-Madison JASONs Network, August, 2010”. (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[53] Evan Walker-Wells, “Grand Strategy Spreads Across US” Yale Herald (March 3, 1991); On Hill’s role in the “Iran-Contra Affair,” see:  Walsh Commission report on the Iran –Contra Affair, Chapter 24:  “The Investigation of State Department Officials: Shultz, Hill and Platt” “Charles Hill of PNAC – The Key to Iran-contra,”

[54] Bruce Fellman, “Training the Next Leaders,” Yale Alumni Magazine (March, 2003),;  Gaddis, “What is Grand Strategy,” Duke University, February 26, 2009, the keynote address at a conference on “American Grand Strategy after War,” sponsored by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies and the Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy,

[55] Walker-Wells, op.cit;  John Lewis Gaddis, “What is Grand Strategy?” Re: military and CIA visits to the Yale GSP, see: “Marines discuss the future security environment with Yale University representatives,”;  Alexander Dworkowitz, “Masters of the Universe,” New Journal (November, 2000)

[56] Amy Dockser Marcus, “Where Policy Makers Are Born – A class at Yale with close Washington ties aims to expand to other schools ” Wall Street Journal,  (December 20, 2008)

[57] ]The AEI has sponsored and published a numer of studies  in regard to US strategic interest, most notably for this study, the recent edited collection, What America Needs to Win the Long War (2010)
[58] “Roger Hertog,”
[59] The Hertog Foundation underwrote the costs of the September 20, 2011 Walker event. For Hertog’ and Walker’s full remarks, see:
[60] Norman Podhoretz, the former editorof Commentary magazineand longtime friend of Hertog was quoted as saying, “Roger thinks of philanthropic endeavors as investments…, [t]he return he expects is long range”.(Brett Stephens, “The Business of Big Ideas – Meet Roger Hertog…” ) See: Elizabeth Harris, “The Policy Revolutionaries,” Worth Magazine, May 1, 2006,  .

As of 2008, Hertog funded the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at NYU to the tune of over $2 million, $4.5 million to Princeton, $5.2 million to New York University’s law school, and $1.5 million to Yeshiva University. [Naomi Schaefer Riley, “Roger Hertog: ‘Free Markets and All That Stuff,” Wall Street Journal, (May 17, 2008).; David Skinner, “Roger Hertog,” ]

[61] Dockser Marcus, “Where Policy Makers Are Born…” op.cit.
[62] Email correspondence mentioned the tentative appearance of Sheldon Lubar’s business partner and major backer of the Yale GSP, Nicholas Brady, at the Milwaukee event, but the authors have not been able to verify his presence.  (Emails: “Roger Hertog”, From: Jeremi Suri, To: Scott Mobley, September 1, 2009; “Hertog visit planning,” Sept. 2, 2010, From: Suri, To: Mobley, Sept. 2, 2010; “Roger Hertog’s visit,” from: Suri, To: Mobley & Anne Lucke, October 8, 2010;  “Draft itinerary for Mr. Hertog’s visit to Madison,” From: Mobley, To: Melnaie Chakmajian [Hertog Foundation), October 23, 2010. (Photocopies. Acquired through WI Open Records request. JASONs Adminstrative Files. In possession of authors.)
[63] In his opening remarks preceding Biddy Martin and Suri at the UW GSP launch, financier Lubar spoke of the U.W. as being in “transition from being a state university to becoming a state affiliated university.” 

Often favorably regarded as a respected and generous philanthropist, he has been a close business associate to others who have played a key role in bank rolling the GSP network, specifically the major backers of the “Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy” at Yale,  former secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady and Charles B. Johnson. For Lubar, see: On Brady and Johnson’s backing of the Yale GSP, see: “Where Policy Makers Are Born – A class at Yale with close Washington ties aims to expand to other schools ” Wall Street Journal,  (December 20, 2008)

[64] For Hertog and GSP support, see: “Philanthropist and UW-Madison join to develop new-generation leaders” University of Wisconsin-Madison News August 3, 2009 ; For media coverage of the online offerings, see Brian Mattmiller, “New history course on U.S. ‘grand strategy’ reaches out to modern military leaders” University of Wisconsin News, February 24, 2009; Todd Finkelmeyer, “Classes on the go: Distance education becoming more popular” Capital Times (Madison), August 10, 2010,

Two online pilot courses, for pre-approved grad students, were taught during the summer, 2010 – A repeat of Suri’s “History of Grand Strategy” and one on “Problems in American Foreign Policy” taught by the political science department’s John Pevehouse.  Listed as “Course Coordinator & Military Liaison,” Scott Mobley answered FAQs  for interested service personnel regarding “Courses in Strategic Studies” as part of the recruitment process. (Downloaded 8/26/11.) An additional online course was added for the summer, 2011: “The American Military Experience” taught by John Hall. (

[65] “Grand Strategy Program Develops New-Generation Leaders”

[66] Because the online courses offered by Suri and then Pevehouse were not part of an accredited degree program, service personnel could not receive funding for them.  “RE: UW-M Online Course” (E-mail thread.)  From: Jesse Pruitt to Todd Finkelmeyer, August 6, 2010; From: Jeremi Suri To:  Jesse Pruitt, August 16, 2010 (Photocopies. Acquired via Open Records request, UW Grand Strategy. In possession of authors.)
[67] “Hertog Distinguished Visitor – Melvin Goodman” (January 22, 2009) JASONs Annual Report, 2008-2009″ (Photocopy acquired through UW Opens Records request. In possession of authors).  Goodman became a vocal critic of the CIA and the drift of the national security state.
[68] Authors of Kingmakers: the Invention of the Modern Middle East, the two spoke on “empire, history, International affairs and related subjects.”  “Hertog Distinguished Visitors, AY 2008-2009″  (Enclosure 6),  JASONs Annual Report, 2008-2009”  (Photocopy acquired through UW Opens Records request. In possession of authors); On the couple, see: . An additional “Hertog Visitor,” in May, 2009 was Tom Loftus, at the time a member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents  and chair of the BOR’s Committee on the Future of the University of Wisconsin. A former Wisconsin State Legislator, he served as Ambassador to Norway under Bill Clinton. (“Hertog Distinguished Visitors, AY 2008-2009” )
[69] Olson was the former chief of the ‘Information Management Unit’ of the US occupation’s Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. He previously served as Director for Low Intensity Conflict in the Department of Defense and was a senior analyst on Southwest Asia at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.  Official sponsors for Olson’s public address, “The Shape of the Twenty-First Century: Once and Future Threats,” were the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), and the Grand Strategy Program, but the talk was listed as part of the Hertog series in the JASONs annual report. [; “JASONs Annual Report, AY 2009-2010” (Photocopies acquired through UW Open Records request. In possession of authors.)

[70] “Hertog Distingushed Visitors, AY 2009-2010,” (Enclosure 4), “Annual Report, University of Wisconsin-Madison JASONs, Academic Year 2009-2010”. (Photocopy. Acquired via WI Open Records requests, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)

Suri, on October 31, informed his assistants, Mobley and James McKay that the Fetzers would be visiting his Grand Strategy seminar, coming from Chicago on November 16th; that he had talked with Wade Fetzer earlier in the week and that the former Goldman Sachs exec and UW Foundation BOD member had “given lots of money to the university,” and was “VERY (emphasis, Suri’s) interested in helping the Grand strategy program.” Noting that, “This is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY (again, Suri) for our program, he gave instructions to arrange a luncheon at the UW University Club and sent a list of guests to invite.  

The list included the GSP/JASONs insiders: John Hall, Debbie Sharnak, Mark Belson, Jon Pevehouse, Paul Wilson, Andrew Seaborg, Hal Burris, and Bill Tishler. The tentative list also included UW Chancellor Biddy Martin and Dean of Letters & Sciences, Gary Sandefur, who Suri personally invited. [Email: “Wade Fetzer visit,” From: Jeremi Suri, To: Scott Mobley,  James McKay; CC: John Hall, October 31, 2009 (Photocopy: In possession of the authors.)]

According to the invitation, the purpose of the event officially sponsored by the “JASONs International Strategy working group”    was to “encourage a free-flowing dialogue with the Fetzers on topics dealing with US grand strategy, foreign policy, national security, and international monetary relations.” [E-mail: “UW JASONs- Wade Fetzer Luncheon Invite,” from James Shelley McKay, To: [List], November 2, 2009. (Photocopy. In possession of the authors.)]

In a note following the meeting, JASONs co-founder Paul Barford commented to Suri and Mobley that, “Having Fetzer visit the Jasons is huge.” Speaking of hopes to hold a future “Jasons Summit” at the Kohl Center, the UW’s sports arena,” he suggested that an advisory committee for such an event should include “alumni like Wade, interested parties like [Roger] Hertog and national figure or two” in order to, “[take] the Jasons and by extension the University to the next level.” [E-mail: “Thoughts after the Fetzer meeting today,” from: Paul Barford, To: Jeremi suri, CC: Scott Mobley; November 16, 2009. (Photocopy. In Possession of the authors.)]

[71] The preceding June, Suri informed Scott Mobley and “media specialist,” Bill Tishler that Gavin had expressed “serious interest in our Grand Strategy program and the JASONs” and that a discussion regarding a possible partnership between the two institutions, at Madison and Austin, was underway. Suri asked Tishler to give Gavin “guest access” to that summer’s online graduate course. He informed his associates that, “If this works, Gavin and the Strauss Center will be great partners.” [E-Mails: “Francis Gavin,” From Suri: To: Scott Mobley & Bill Tishler, July 22, 2009. (Photocopy. In Possession of the authors.)]

Following feedback from Gavin on the online course, Mobley informed him that the summer offering was a “pilot effort and a spring board to a much broader program in grand strategy and international strategic studies.” [E-mail: “Grand Strategy at the University of Wisconsin –Madison,” From: Scott Mobley, To: Frank Gavin, July 28, 2009.” (Photocopy. In possession of the authors.) ]

With Gavin’s visit in the works, Suri informed Mobley that Roger Hertog money would be used to cover part of the costs and that assistance would also come from WARF, via the offices of Carl Gulbrandsen. Suri stated he would add WARF’s name as a sponsor of the event, but thought that “Carl wants to keep his support quiet.” Mobley, when placing a formal request to WARF CFO, Chris Winslow for the Gavin visit, repeated that concern.  The fall series simply became the “Hertog Distinguished Visitors” series. [E-mail: “Frank Gavin’s Visit to Madison,” From: Jeremi Suri, To: Scott Mobley, July 26, 2009; “Frank Gavin Visit,” From: Scott Mobley, To: Chris Winslow [CFO, WARF], CC: Jeremi Suri, August 3, 2009. (Photocopy. In Possession of the authors.) ]

[72] E-mail: From: Suri, To: Andrew Seaborg, part of thread in, “Thursday lunch at University Club,” From: Scott Mobley, To: James S. McKay, September 20, 2009. In the note, Suri informs Seaborg that UW-Madison Provost will also be at the lunch and that he wanted to introduce the two since, Paul was anxious [sic] to connect with the Madison business community.” Re: Andrew Seaborg: ;

An examination of the discussions and arrangements leading up to his campus appearance on September 24, 2009 reveall some of the informal workings of the UW JASONS/Grand Strategy Program.

[Also: E-mail threads, From: Jeremi Suri, Scott Mobley and others, To: [list], re: “UW JASONs Event: Luncheon with Frank Gavin,” etc., (September  6-22, 2009) (Photocopies. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONS. In possession of authors.)

[73] The mission of the Madison-based Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, “is to enhance Wisconsin’s ’position to attract and retain research and development grants from federal government agencies for the purpose of conducting sensitive, classified  or non-classified academic and business research and development and related development work…. The WSRC will facilitate R&D projects involving academic research institutions and companies in Wisconsin in concert with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense/DARPA, the Department of Agriculture and related federal agencies. WSRC works with Wisconsin companies and academic institutions to secure federal and research dollars.”

In addition to Seaborg and DeLuca, those attending the smaller Gavin meeting included members of the ISS working group, some of whom would also comprise the UW Grand Strategy inner circle — UW JASONs co-founder Paul Barford, Computer Sciences’ Paul Wilson; military historian, John Hall; geographer Kris Olds; Madison businessman, Harral Burris; and history grads students Debbie Sharnack, Robbie Gross and ex-Navy man Marc Belson.

[74]  E-mail: “UW JASONS Event: Lunch with Frank Gavin,” From: Scott Mobley, To: [list], September 22, 2009 (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW-JASONs. In possession of the authors.)
[75] For example, Suri arranged for Richard Immerman to come to Madison, during the first week of November, 2010. He extended a personal invitation to his Temple associate while the two were attending a August, 2010 seminar on the “Teaching Grand Strategy” at the Naval War College. (E-Mail: “Fall Lectures,” From: Jeremy Suri, To: Jeff Kollath [Wisconsin Veterans Museum], July 25, 2010. (Photocopy: Acquired through WI Open Records request. WI Veterans Museum, In possession of authors.)
Inviting his grad students and others to a talk by Immerman on the afternoon of the 4th, Suri described his colleague as a “leading scholar of intelligence and covert operations… [who] recently spent a year at the CIA as the historical advisor to the agency.” (E-mail: “Prof Richard Immerman’s visit to Madison, November 4,”  From: Jeremi Suri, To: [List], October 31, 2010. (Photocopy: Acquired through WI Open Records Request. In possession of authors.) That same evening, Immerman gave a public talk at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum on his recent book, Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz.
[76] For Dur, see: “Lecture Series: Wisconsin Veterans Museum,”;  “TechPrecision Corporation Nominates Philip Dur as Independent Director,”; “Philip A. Dur,”; Hispanic Admirals in the United States Navy  Re: Arrangements for his September 15, 2010 Madison visit, see E-mail: “Admiral Dur Visit,”  From: Scott Mobley, To: Alison B. Alter [WAGE]; Jeffrey Kollath [Veterans Museum]; CC:, August 24, 2010. Re: Dur’s visit with Paul Deluca: E-mail, From: Scott Mobley, To: Paul Deluca, CC: Suri, September 15, 2010. . (Photocopies. Acquired through Wisconsin Open records request. In possession of the authors.)

[77] Suri confirmed that Hertog money would be used to cover the costs of travel, lodging and meals for those military personnel, former online students, who Mobley invited to the workshop. (E-mail: “Nov. Grand Strategy Workshop,” From Jeremi Suri, To: Scott Mobley, CC: James McKay, September 26, 2009. ( Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open records request. In possession of authors.)  Additional costs for the workshop came from UW JASONs funds.  (E-mail thread: “Draft Invitation for the Grand strategy workshop, 6-7 Nov. 09,” (From: Jeremi Suri, To: Scott Mobley, CC; James McKay, Oct. 16, 2009. Photocopy in possession of authors.)

[78] “Students get rare opportunity to experience Grand Strategy scenarios, exercises”
[79] Members of the faculty and others from the UW community, including the  Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Paul Deluca, and Navy ROTC’s commander, Kenneth Auten, “role played” the parts of National Security Advisors to the President. (E-mail: “Provost DeLuca Re: UW JASONs Grand Strategy Workshop, 6-7 Nov. 2009” From: Colleen Schutz, To: Scott Mobley, Nov. 2, 2009; “Grand Startegy workshop this weekend,” From: Capt. Ken Auten, To: Scott Mobley, Nov. 4, 2009;” “New[s] & Notes Piece on Grand Strategy Workshop,” From Sctott Mobley, To: Megan Costello, CCC; Jeremi Suri, Nov. 16, 2009.) [Photocopies. In possession of authors.]
Mobley asked Suri’s advice when inviting DeLuca to participate in the workshop.  Suri suggested placing an emphasis “on how the workshop serves our JASONs mission.” “Remember,” he cautioned, “Paul is most interested in the JASONs. The more we emphasize the connection between the JASONs and Grand Strategy, the better.” (E-mail: “Phone call to Provost DeLuca Re: UW JASOns Grand Strategy Workshop…,” From: Suri, To: Scott Mobley, Nov. 4, 2009. Acquired through WI Open Records request. In possession of authors.)  Deluca’s name regularly appeared on the monthly JASON meeting invitations and the 2010 roster of the group’s members. (JASONs documents,  acquired through  WI Open Records requests. In possession of the authors.)
[80] E-mails: “Methodolgy,” From: John W. Hall, To: Scott Mobley, Jeremi Suri, Nov 2, 2009; “Scenario #1 Briefing (Draft),” From: Jon Pevehouse, To: Scott Mobley, CC: Jeremi Suri; Nov. 3, 2009. (Photocopies. In possession of authors.)
[81] “Grand Strategy Workshop, University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW JASONs International Strategic Studies Project, 6-7 November, 2009 – Workshop Program” (Photocopy. Acquired through Wi Open Records request, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)

As was often the case with “special guests” that Suri brought to campus, Feaver also gave a talk at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. The evening before the GSP workshop, Feaver spoke on “Civil-Military Relations and the Surge Decision,” the 2007 Iraq “surge” which he helped craft as Special Advisor at the National Security Council under George W. Bush. (  Just before meeting with the GSers, he also spoke on a “A View from Inside President George W. Bush’s National Security Council” to a special off-campus breakfast gathering of the exclusive Madison Committee on Foreign Relations. ( The additional talks given by Suri invitees often received stipends provided by the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE).

[82] A list of the workshop “mentors” for the two scenarios appears in “Grand Strategy Workshop, 6-7 November, 2009”;  Powerpoint slide # 37, “Team Assignments”. (Photocopy facsimile. Acquired via WI Open Records request, UW Grand Strategy Program. In possession of the authors.)

[83] Initially recruited to the UW GSP online pilot course in 2009, Dryden went on to recommend colleagues for future online offerings. His name appeared on the “UW-Madison JASONs Network, August, 2010” listed as “Department of the Army, Alumnus” (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)

An employee with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) with several years’ experience in DoD security cooperation efforts in Europe/Eurasia, Dryden worked in Kabul as a senior advisor with the Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) program.  (Victoria Colette Reynolds, “Reality on the ground – Deployment brings greater insight into implementation on the ground”  (Policyweb Blog, Nov. 11, 2010); Reynolds, “Guiding global partners, shoulder to shoulder – DoD civil servants advance the mission beyond borders, via the MoDA program” (Policyweb Blog, Nov.18, 2010) (Retrieved 12/21/10).  “George Dryden”  (Last retrieved, 9/16/11.)

MoDA was “designed to forge long-term relationships that strengthen a partner state’s defense ministry. The program matches senior Department of Defense (DoD) civilians with foreign counterparts in similar defense specialties. Ultimately, the MoDA program helps partners build core competencies that support effective and accountable defense ministries…” []

[84] Rotzoll was a US government “military analyst” between September, 1999 and November 2006. From October 2002 to September 2003, he served as the “civil affairs team leader” of a  provincial reconstruction (PRT) team in Bamian province, Afghanistan. His activities included reconstruction projects, and political engagement with government and local leaders and earlier worked in direct support of  join US Special Forces-Afghan Army combat operations. On Rotzoll: (Retrieved, 08/04/11);

[85] An extensive critical literature on HTTs in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere exists, due to their controversial nature.   In part that has grown out ethical questions raised by the use social scientists in counterinsurgency operations. Some have pointed out the direct lineage to Vietnam era efforts, such as the notorious “Phoenix Program”.  See: David H. Price, Weaponizing Anthropology (Counterpunch: 2011) and  Roberto J, Gonzales,  American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain (Chicago: 2009).

[86] Robert Young Pelton, “Afghanistan: The New War for Hearts and Minds,” Men’s Journal (January 21, 2009) Pelton received online criticism for “outing” Rotzoll. Officers writing in complained that the author had revealed Rotzoll’s identity after agreeing that his CIA background was “off the record”. For the exchanges in regard to Pelton’s exposure, follow the “Comments” thread.
[87] Rotzoll completed a Bachelors in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Wisconsin before completing a Masters in Chinese Area Studies at Michigan, earned a graduate certificate in Chinese Studies at Nanjing University, where he attended the Johns Hopkins Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. He studied one year of intensive Chinese at Cornell and studied “National Secuirty” for two years through the distance learning program of the US Air War College. A Madison home town boy, he graduated from Memorial High in 1981. (Sources on Rotzoll, op.cit).  His name appears on the “UW-Madison JASONs Network, August, 2010” roster. (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW JASONs. In possession of authors.)
[88] Suri used his old school ties to invite Nadaner to Madison. After receiving an e-mail holiday greeting from his former class mate in December, 2010. (E-mail: “EXTERNAL: re: 2010-2011,” From: Jeremi Suri To: Jeb Nadaner, CC: Scott Mobley, Decemeber 23, 2010. In possession of the authors.)
[89] “Courses in Strategic Studies – Frequently Asked Questions,”  Mobley suggested the use of the term “strategic studies” rather than “grand strategy” when pitching the online program directly to military personnel and “special students”.
[90] “UW JASONs meeting minutes, October 7, 2008” [compiled by Scott Mobley, JASONs/GSP coordinator] (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open Records request, UW-JASONS. In possession of authors)
[91] “Notes from Strategic Planning Retreat – Bishop’s Bay Country Club,” January 20, 2010. E-mail, 1/20/10, From: James McKay, [assistant to Scott Mobley], To: [Andrew] Seaborg, [Jeremi] Suri, [William] Tishler;  [Scott] Mobley.  (Photocopy. Acquired through WI Open records request, UW-JASONs. In possession of authors.)

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Allen Ruff is a U.S. historian and investigative researcher. His primary work centers on opposition to U.S. "grand strategy" and interventions in the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere. He hosts a weekly a public affairs program on WORT, 89.9 FM in Madison, Wisconsin and blogs at