Raphael “Rafi” Cohen is director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE, and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He works on a broad range of defense and foreign policy issues, including defense strategy and force planning, Middle East and European security, and civil-military relations.
Cohen previously held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution, 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, Foreign Policy, Fox News, War on the Rocks, Lawfare, The Hill, The National Interest, and other publications. He also served as a staffer on the Congressionally-appointed 2018 National Defense Strategy Commission and is now the deputy executive director of the 2023 National Defense Strategy Commission.
A military intelligence branched lieutenant colonel 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 holds a Ph.D. in government and an M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. magna cum laude in government from Harvard University.