Linda Robinson

Photo of Linda Robinson
Senior International Policy Analyst
Washington Office

Education

B.A. in political science, Swarthmore College

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 media@rand.org.

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Overview

Linda Robinson is a senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Her areas of expertise include national security strategy, international affairs, U.S. foreign policy, security force assistance, joint force development, special operations forces, irregular warfare and stability operations. She has worked in South Asia, Iraq, the Middle East, and Latin America as a journalist and researcher. Her current research centers on defense strategy and planning, political and post-conflict transitions, building partner capacity, and special operations forces. Robinson has authored joint concepts, designed workshops on complex contingency operations, and provided political-military and strategy analysis to various commands. She was author of a Council on Foreign Relations special report on the future of special operations forces (2013). Her most recent book, One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare, was published in paperback in 2014. She is also the author of a book on Iraq, Tell Me How This Ends (2008), as well as Masters of Chaos (2004) and Intervention or Neglect (1991). She is on the board of the National Defense University, chair of the Army War College board, and a senior fellow at Joint Special Operations University.

Selected Publications

Linda Robinson, Paul D. Miller, John Gordon IV, Jeffrey Decker, Michael Schwille, Raphael S. Cohen, Improving Strategic Competence: Lessons from 13 Years of War, RAND (RR-816-A), 2014

Commentary

  • Mark Hulkower and fellow defense attorneys speak to members of the media outside of the U.S. District Court after five Blackwater security guards were charged with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 others in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad

    The Future of Blackwater and Other Guns for Hire

    The story of how private military security companies came to play a pivotal role in wartime operations is an important one, and Ann Hagedorn, a former reporter for the Journal, was right to take it on.

    Oct 28, 2014 | The Wall Street Journal

  • Afghan Uniformed Police and Afghan Border Police leading a presence patrol

    Train Afghans, Corral Al Qaeda: America's Enduring Mission in Afghanistan

    The mission of preventing al Qaeda from threatening the U.S. is an enduring one that will require a long-term commitment not just to counterterrorism, but to training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces so that they are better able to prosecute their own campaign against terrorists.

    Feb 11, 2014 | Breaking Defense

  • A Special Forces Master Mountaineering Course

    Five Profound Choices Special Ops Face Next Year

    If 2013 was the year of decisions, 2014 will be the year special operations forces implement their roadmap for the future. But where exactly does that road lead? The trajectory will be determined by several budgetary and policy choices that the U.S. military, policymakers and Congress will make in 2014.

    Nov 1, 2013 | Breaking Defense

  • Pakistani girl holds up a picture she drew depicting the U.S. drone strike on her village which killed her grandmother

    The Downside of Drones

    The chief political drawback is that target countries' populations view drone attacks as violations of their sovereignty every bit as much as manned raids. The chief military drawback: A drone attack destroys the critical intelligence that is needed to ensure that the tactical strike can be converted to strategic advantage.

    Nov 1, 2013 | U.S. News & World Report

  • The opening of the 1st Afghan National Army Special Operations Brigade, Aug. 20, 2013

    The Future of Counterterrorism: Fewer Drones, More Partnerships

    Drones are just one of three principal U.S. counterterrorism tools. Special Operations forces are now relying on a more balanced mix of tactics: Launching raids and developing partner forces offer more versatility than drone strikes and will probably become the wave of the future as America's big wars wind down.

    Oct 21, 2013 | The Washington Post

  • coalition forces in Afghanistan

    Special Ops Global Whack-a-Mole

    A new model for our nation's special forces could follow the approach used in Colombia and the Philippines, where special forces planned ongoing campaigns that use numerous advisory, civil affairs, and informational activities to address those governments' weaknesses in providing security and ending conflicts.

    Apr 8, 2013 | USA Today and CFR

Publications