Raphael S. Cohen

raphael cohen, c0717, raphael cohen, c0717
Political Scientist
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in government, Georgetown University; M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; B.A. in government, Harvard University

Overview

Raphael "Rafi" Cohen joined the RAND Corporation in August 2014. He has worked on a variety of defense and foreign policy issues, including counterinsurgency, Middle East and European security, intelligence contracting and civil-military relations. Prior to joining RAND, Cohen was a pre-doctoral fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He previously has held research fellowships at the American Enterprise Institute and the National Defense University's Center for Complex Operations. He has written for a variety of forums, including the Journal of Strategic Studies, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, Orbis, Armed Forces Journal, The Weekly Standard, The National Interest, The American Interest, Time and other publications. A military intelligence branched major in the Army Reserve, Cohen has held a variety of command and staff positions in both the active and reserve components, including during two combat tours in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 and again from 2007 to 2008. He also is an adjunct professor of Security Studies in Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Commentary

  • Israeli soldiers training for urban wafare

    Five Lessons from Israel's Wars in Gaza

    After a decade of operating against Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Force has learned many lessons about urban warfare against hybrid adversaries. The last confrontation teaches five basic lessons that apply well beyond Gaza.

    Aug 3, 2017 War on the Rocks

  • Risk board game

    Why Strategies Disappoint — and How to Fix Them

    Strategies fail because leaders are unwilling to make difficult decisions at the risk of being wrong. Can the new U.S. administration succeed in fixing the strategy process?

    Mar 20, 2017 Lawfare

  • New U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis is greeted by Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he arrives at the Pentagon outside Washington, U.S.,  January 21, 2017

    Five Simple Strategy Lessons for a New Secretary of Defense

    Secretary of Defense James Mattis will need to lay the intellectual groundwork to fulfill President Trump's promise of “a great rebuilding” of the United States military. History suggests that how the strategies are developed may be as important to their success as what they say.

    Mar 2, 2017 RealClearDefense

  • A U.S. Army crew chief scans his sector from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, May 8, 2015

    Understanding the U.S. Military's Morale 'Crisis'

    The military's discontent may stem from dissonance between the commitment to, and pride in, the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and the knowledge that these sacrifices have not yielded the desired results. Those wars arguably have prompted a crisis of confidence within the military itself.

    Jun 29, 2015 Lawfare

  • U.S. Army Sgt. instructing Iraqi soldiers on individual movement techniques during a class at the Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center in 2011

    The Foreign Policy Essay: Hearts, Minds, & ISIL

    Defeating ISIL will not come from winning hearts and minds and soft power, nor will it come from a handful of precision airstrikes. It will require hard, bloody ground combat. The United States may not want to admit this, but it is the grim truth nonetheless.

    Oct 13, 2014 Lawfare

  • Palestinians walk past a mosque and water tower damaged by Israeli air strikes and shelling in Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip

    The Grim Lessons of 'Protective Edge'

    For all the attempts to find technological quick fixes or enforce a permanent settlement, Operation Protective Edge has highlighted that a war of attrition, known as a 'long war,' remains the only viable strategy in the current environment.

    Sep 3, 2014 The American Interest

Publications