Christopher M. Schnaubelt

Photo of Christopher Schnaubelt
Senior Political Scientist
Washington Office


Ph.D. in political science, University of California Santa Barbara; M.S.S. in strategic studies, U.S. Army War College


Christopher M. Schnaubelt is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. His primary research areas are disaster response and recovery, homeland security/homeland defense, security force assistance, and partner capacity development. Prior to joining RAND, he was deployed to Kabul as a U.S. Department of the Army Civilian serving as Senior Advisor to the Afghan Deputy Minister of Interior for Strategy and Policy as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Ministry of Defense Advisor (MoDA) program. He served as the Transformation Chair at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, from 2008 to 2011. From 2006 to 2008, he worked for the State Department in U.S. Embassy Baghdad as the Deputy Director for National Security Affairs in the Joint Strategic Plans and Assessments (JSPA) office with projects that included writing the 2006 Joint Campaign Plan Assessment and working directly for Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus as a co-director of the Joint Strategic Assessment Team that drafted a joint campaign plan to implement “the surge” in 2007. He is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel with assignments that included brigade-level command of a Total Army School System training regiment, Chief of Policy for CJTF-7 in Iraq, command of two different tank battalions, and Director of Training and Director of Research and Analysis at the National Interagency Civil-Military Institute while serving in the California Army National Guard; and a deployment in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina as Director of Logistics for Area Support Team-Balkans while serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Recent Projects

  • DoD’s CBRN Response Enterprise: Options for Improving the Identification and Communication of Civilian Requirements to DoD and the Army
  • Sustaining the Army’s Reserve Components as an Operational Force
  • Counternetwork: Countering the Expansion of Transnational Criminal Networks
  • The Army’s Local Economic Effects
  • Puerto Rico Economic & Disaster Recovery Plan: Integration & Analytic Support

Selected Publications

Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Cohen, Raphael S.; Dunigan, Molly.; Gentile, Gian.; Hastings, Jaime L.; Klimas, Joshua.; Marquis, Jefferson P.; Schaefer, Agnes Gereben.; Triezenberg, Bonnie.; Ziegler, Michelle Darrah., Sustaining the Army's reserve components as an operational force, RAND (RR-1495-A)

Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Bond, Craig.; Camm, Frank A.,; Klimas, Joshua.; Lachman, Beth E.,; McDonald, Laurie L.,; Mele, Judith D.; Ng, Paul.; Smith, Meagan L.; Sutera, Cole.; Skeels, Christopher., The Army's local economic effects, RAND (RR-1119-A)

Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Larson, Eric V.; Boyer, Matthew E., Vulnerability assessment method pocket guide: a tool for Center of Gravity analysis, RAND (TL-129-A)

Watts, Stephen.; Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Mann, Sean.; O'Mahony, Angela.; Schwille, Michael., Pacific engagement: forging tighter connections between tactical security cooperation activities and U.S. strategic goals in the Asia-Pacific region, RAND (RR-1920-A)

Pint, Ellen M.; Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Dalzell, Stephen.; Hastings, Jaime L.; Speed, Penelope.; Shanley, Michael G.,, Review of Army Total Force Policy Implementation, RAND (RR-1958-A)

Rabasa, Angel.; Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Chalk, Peter.; Farah, Douglas.; Midgette, Gregory.; Shatz, Howard J., Counternetwork: countering the expansion of transnational criminal networks, RAND (RR-1481-A)

McNerney, Michael J.; Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Schaefer, Agnes Gereben.; Melliand, Martina.; Gelfeld, Bill., Improving DoD support to FEMA's all-hazards plans, RAND (RR-1301-OSD)

Long, Austin G.; Helmus, Todd C.; Zimmerman, S. Rebecca.; Schnaubelt, Christopher M.; Chalk, Peter., Building special operations partnerships in Afghanistan and beyond: challenges and best practices from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Colombia, RAND (RR-713-OSD)


  • U.S. Soldiers with the 46th Military Police Company, Michigan National Guard, at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., February 25, 2021, photo by 2nd Lt. Ashley Goodwin/U.S. Army National Guard

    The National Guard Can Do It, but That Doesn't Mean It's a Good Idea

    Should the National Guard provide an enduring quick reaction force for Washington, D.C., as apparently recommended in a recent report to Congress? Policymakers might ask themselves whether using the National Guard for this mission is actually the best solution.

    Mar 19, 2021 Military Times

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in Parliament ahead of a Brexit vote, in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, photo by UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters

    Life After Brexit Need Not Be a Disaster for the UK

    Leaving the European Union without a deal will be costly for Britain. But there are actions that could be taken now to help improve the economic prospects of a fully independent UK.

    Mar 18, 2019 The Hill

  • Construction on the Army Test and Evaluation Command headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, as part of a 2011 BRAC plan

    Making BRAC Politically Palatable

    Taxpayer dollars have been used for decades to maintain bases that should have been realigned or closed. If policymakers would like more efficient use of defense dollars, they might consider allowing new rounds of Base Realignment and Closure.

    Mar 16, 2017 The Hill