Ben Connable

Photo of Ben Connable
Senior International Policy Analyst; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


M.A. in national security affairs, Naval Postgraduate School; M.A. in strategic intelligence, American Military University; B.A. in political science, University of Colorado-Boulder

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Ben Connable is a senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a retired Marine Corps intelligence and Arabic-speaking Foreign Area officer. He focuses on counterinsurgency and intelligence methodology, and also works on Middle East regional and other warfare issues in support of U.S. Department of Defense sponsors. Connable has an extensive background in military cultural terrain theory and application, having served as cultural advisor to general officers in Iraq and as the head of the Marine Corps cultural intelligence program. He currently leads RAND's support to the Marine Corps' analytic efforts on Afghanistan and is completing a monograph on operational assessments in counterinsurgency. Connable received his B.A. in political science from the University of Colorado–Boulder, his M.A. in strategic intelligence from American Military University, and his M.A. in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Recent Projects

  • Examining socio-cultural intelligence analysis at CENTCOM
  • How insurgencies end
  • Afghanistan: warfighting support, support to deploying military staffs

Selected Publications

Ben Connable and Martin Libicki, How Insurgencies End, RAND (MG-965), 2010


  • Mehdi Army fighters loyal to a Shi'ite cleric march during a military-style training in Najaf, June 18, 2014

    A Long-Term Strategy for a Democratic Iraq

    Unfortunately, no strategic option for a unified, democratic Iraq has a good chance of success. But any well-considered option that doesn't involve ineffective killing or risking U.S. lives is preferable to simply allowing Iraq to disintegrate and feed broader regional instability.

    Jun 30, 2014 |

  • Masked Sunni Muslim gunmen take up positions with their weapons during a patrol in the city of Falluja

    Iraq Picture May Not Be as Bleak as It Seems

    Over the past month, al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made a concerted effort to seize the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. The attacks have received a lot of attention, but ISIS does not represent a majority of Iraqi Sunni in Anbar. Many Sunni Anbari leaders continue to reject al Qaeda.

    Jan 31, 2014 | CNN

  • Syrian Americans rally in support of the Bashar al-Assad regime and against proposed U.S. military action against Syria

    A Smarter Way to Stop Syria WMD Attacks

    President Obama made a strong case that the U.S. should take the lead in punishing the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons and actively enforce the near-global ban on these weapons. Now, the possibility of a diplomatic solution to this problem offers an opportunity to improve the request for the authorization of force currently before Congress.

    Sep 19, 2013 | CNN

  • Combat Camera,Makinano,OIF,Patrol,3/3ACR,Al Zarai,Saddam Mosque

    The Deeply Mixed Results of the Iraq War

    Mar 21, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report