Dr. Christopher Bassford




  • Ph.D., Purdue University: Modern European and Military History
  • M.A., Ohio University: American Diplomatic History
  • B.A., The College of William & Mary: History

Research Interests

  • Military History
  • National Security Studies

Professor Christopher Bassford has a B.A. in History from the College of William & Mary (with Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies for a dissertation on tactical nuclear weapons), an M.A. in American diplomatic history from the Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in modern European and military history from Purdue University. He served five years on active duty as a U.S. Army field artillery officer, with tours in Korea and Germany, and held an Olin postdoctoral fellowship in national security studies at the Ohio State University. Subsequently, he was director of studies in the theory and nature of war at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, then associate professor of National Policy Issues at the U.S. Army War College. He returned to the Marine Corps orbit as a concepts and doctrine analyst for Marine Corps Combat Developments Command. He was Professor of Strategy at the National War College, in Washington, DC, for 12 years and is presently with NDU's College of International Security Affairs (CISA), teaching in its JSOMA program at the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, NC.

Bassford is the author of several books, including The Spit-Shine Syndrome: Organizational Irrationality in the American Field Army (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988) and Clausewitz in English: The Reception of Clausewitz in Britain and America, 1815-1945 (Oxford University Press, 1994). He is one of the editors of the Boston Consulting Group's business-oriented Clausewitz On Strategy: Inspiration and Insight from a Master Strategist (New York: Wiley, 2001), and also conceived and edited Carl von Clausewitz and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington, and the Campaign of 1815 (Clausewitz.com, 2010). As a Marine Corps concepts and doctrine writer he authored MCDP 1-1, Strategy, MCDP 1-2, Campaigning, MCWP 5-1, Marine Corps Planning (Draft), MCWP 2-15.3, Ground Reconnaissance Operations (Draft, 1998), and MCWP 3-2, Aviation Operations (Coordinating Draft, 1998). He is also the editor and webmaster (since 1995) of The Clausewitz Homepage.