Aaron O’Connell to give talk on the US War in Afghanistan on Thurs Sept 10

September 3, 2015

Please join us next Thursday, September 10th at 4:30 p.m. in WLH room 119 for a lecture by Aaron O’Connell, Associate Professor, US Naval Academy, on “Moving the Mountains: Cultural Friction in the US War in Afghanistan.” The talk is part of the International Security Studies Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public.


Aaron B. O’Connell is Associate Professor of History and the Admiral Jay Johnson Professor for Leadership Education at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. A native of Norwalk, CT, he attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he earned a B.A. with honors in American Studies.  Following five years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve and began a PhD program in Yale’s Program in American Studies in 2003. After receiving his M.A. in American Studies, he switched to the history department, where he received his doctoral degree in 2010.  In 2012, Harvard University Press published his first book:  Underdogs:  The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.  In 2013, he was promoted to Associate Professor with academic tenure and began his second book, Moving the Mountains:  Culture and Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, which will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2016. When not in the classroom, Dr. O’Connell continues to serve in the Marines and now holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  From 2010-2011, he deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as a Special Advisor to the overall commander in the war, General David Petraeus, and from 2012-2014, he spent his summers serving as a Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey.  Most recently he served as the U.S. Defense Attaché in Juba, South Sudan.