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 and interagency concepts, designed workshops on complex contingency operations, and provided political-military, policy and strategy analysis to various commands. She was senior adviser to the AFPAK Center at USCENTCOM (2010-11) and 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 2013. She is also the author of Tell Me How This Ends (2008), 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.

Commentary

  • 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