David Ochmanek

David Ochmanek
Senior International/Defense Researcher; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


M.P.A., Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; B.S. in international affairs and political science, United States Air Force Academy

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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David Ochmanek is a senior international/defense researcher at the RAND Corporation and a member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. From 2009 until 2014 he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Development.

Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he was a senior defense analyst and director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program for Project AIR FORCE at RAND, where he worked from 1985 until 1993, and again from 1995 until 2009. From 1993 until 1995, Ochmanek served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy.

Prior to joining RAND, he was a member of the Foreign Service of the United States, serving from 1980 to 1985. From 1973 to 1978, he was an officer in the United States Air Force.

Ochmanek is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown and George Washington Universities.

Research Focus

Previous Positions

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy

Recent Projects

  • Airpower and Moscow's Strategy in the Near Abroad
  • Assessing Trends in Relative U.S. Overmatch
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute
  • A New Force Planning and Sizing Construct for DoD

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: CTV News (Canada); Defence Matters; Foreign Policy


  • Lithuanian Land Forces fire a smoke screen from an M113A1 Armored Personnel Carrier during a joint exercise with their American partners in Rukla, Lithuania, May 22, 2015

    In Defense of a Wargame: Bolstering Deterrence on NATO's Eastern Flank

    A series of wargames examined the potential results of a Russian invasion of the Baltic states. While such an invasion appears unlikely, its consequences would be so dangerous that not taking steps to deter it more robustly would be imprudent.

    Jun 14, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • The Ohio-Class ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada returns to homeport at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor following a strategic deterrent patrol

    If We Keep Cutting Defense Spending, We Must Do Less

    The United States is underinvesting in defense and other instruments of national influence just when they are most needed. Improving defenses needn't require Cold War levels of expenditure but Americans should look realistically at the demands being placed on their forces and generate the revenues to meet those demands.

    Oct 19, 2015 Newsweek

  • U.S. sailors conduct maintenance on an F/A-18C Hornet on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Jan. 4, 2015

    Advice for Defense Innovators

    If the U.S. is to retain its status as the security partner of choice for many of the world's most important states, and help sustain peace and stability in regions critical to our own security, future U.S. forces must be far more capable.

    Jan 12, 2015 Defense News

  • Real Roles, Missions Debate

    The United States can and should move beyond a "one size fits all" approach to sizing military forces toward a construct that shapes each service for the types of operations it is actually expected to conduct in the future, write Andrew Hoehn and David Ochmanek.

    Apr 7, 2008 Washington Times

  • Crafting Terror Strategy

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Crafting Terror Strategy, in United Press International.

    Oct 18, 2006 United Press International