LTC David P. Oakley, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


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LTC David Oakley is a FA59 (Strategist) with over twenty years as a national security professional within the US Army and the Intelligence Community. He currently serves as an assistant professor at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs (CISA) in Washington, D.C. Dave was commissioned a Field Artillery officer in December 1998 through Pittsburg State University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps. After completing the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, he served in South Korea as a platoon leader with 6-37 Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Division. Dave was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma from 1999-2005 where he served in the Field Artillery Training Center as a battery executive officer, detachment commander, assistant brigade S-3, battery commander, and company commander. Dave temporarily left active duty for the Army Reserve after completing company command. While off active duty, Dave was selected for the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) Program as a Staff Operations Officer (SOO). After graduating from the CIA’s SOO Certification Course, Dave served within the CIA’s Near East Division. Following his CIA service, Dave served as a contractor with the National Counterterrorism Center’s Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. Dave returned to active duty as a FA59 in late 2007. Following the completion of the Basic Strategic Arts Program (BSAP), he served as a planner with the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) at Fort Riley, Kansas. In 2010, he deployed with 1ID to Iraq where he served as a liaison officer to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In 2011, Dave moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he attended the Command and General Staff School followed by the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). In 2013, Dave departed Fort Leavenworth for Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he served as a planner with 5th Army/Army North until 2015. Dave and his wife Kristen have four children; Taylor, Tanner, Tatum, and Tyler.


  • Ph.D., Kansas State University: Security Studies (2016)
  • M.M.A.S., Command and General Staff College: Conflict and Security Studies (2012)
  • M.M.A.S., School of Advanced Military Studies: Theater Operations (2013)
  • M.P.A., University of Oklahoma: Public Administration (2005)
  • BA., Pittsburg State University: Political Science (1998)


  • Subordinating Intelligence: The CIA/DoD Post-Cold War Relationship, University Press of Kentucky.
  • “Organizing for the ‘Gray Zone’ Fight: Early Cold War Realities and the CIA’s Directorate of Operations,” In Thomas A. Marks and Kirklin J. Bateman (Eds.), Perspectives on the American
  • “The Problems of a Militarized Foreign Policy for America’s Premiere Intelligence Agency,” War on the Rocks, 02 May 2019 ( foreign-policy-for-americas-premier-intelligence-agency/)
  • Way of War: The U.S. Experience in Irregular Conflict, Routledge Press. Pending.
  • “Organizing for the ‘Gray Zone’ Fight: Early Cold War Realities and the CIA’s Directorate of Operations,” Small Wars and Insurgencies. Vol. 30, Issue 01, 62-80.
  • “Out of Necessity: How Cold War Realities and Individual Personalities Shaped the CIA’s Role in Covert Action and Counterinsurgency,” Small Wars and Insurgencies. (Forthcoming Special issue on Perspectives on the American Way of War: The U.S. Experience in Irregular Conflict).
  • “Perfection of Process Does Not Equal Perfect Understanding,” Military Review. January/February 2015.
  • “Partners or Competitors?: The Evolution of the DoD/CIA Relationship since Desert Storm and its Prospects for the Future,” Joint Special Operations University Report 14-2. May 2014.
  • “Adapting to Change: Strategic Turning Points and the CIA/DoD Relationship,” Interagency Journal. 5(1), Winter 2014, 3-11.
  • “Ten Years of GWOT, the Failure of Democratization and the Fallacy of Ungoverned Spaces” (co-authored with Pat Proctor), Journal of Strategic Security. 5 (1): 1-14.

• “Taming the Rogue Elephant?,” American Intelligence Journal. Winter 2008/2009, 61-67. Research Interests: Intelligence history, national security, U.S. foreign policy, civil-military relations

Research Interests: Intelligence history, national security, U.S. foreign policy, civil-military relations