National Security Affairs
Dr. Owens is professor of national security affairs in the National Security Affairs (NSA) Department of the Naval War College. From 1999 until 2010, he was also Associate Dean of Academics for Electives and Directed Research. He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal. He specializes in the planning of US strategy and forces, especially naval and power projection forces; the political economy of national security; national security organization; strategic geography; energy security; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the core Naval War College course, he has taught electives on The American Founding, Strategy and Policy of the American Civil War, The Statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, Sea Power and Maritime Strategy, Strategy and Geography, and US Civil-Military Relations. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University.
Dr. Owens is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, writing primarily on security affairs. His articles have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Naval War College Review, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem Post, St. Louis Lawyer, The Washington Times, The Claremont Review of Books, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post and New York Daily News. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote the chapters entitled "The Political Economy of National Security," "Thinking About Strategy," and “Strategy and the Logic of Force Planning.” His book, US Civil-Military Bargain after 9/1: Renegotiating the Civil-Millitary Bargain was published in January 2011 by Continuum. He is also completing a book for the University Press of Kentucky tentatively titled Sword of Republican Empire: A History of US Civil-Military Relations.
Before joining the faculty of the War College, Dr. Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan administration. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Colonel in 1994.
Dr. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, a Master of Arts in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Dallas, Catholic University, Ashland University of Ohio, and the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW). He has been a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses and a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and J-5 Strategy, the Joint Staff.