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LTC Nathaniel Davis

DSS Director
Course Director


LTC Nathaniel B. Davis is the Director of Defense and Strategic Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

LTC Davis was commissioned as an Armor officer upon graduation from the University of Michigan where he majored in Political Science, History, and Studies in Religion.  Stationed at Camp Casey, Republic of Korea, he served as a tank platoon leader and support platoon leader in the 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor.

Upon completion of the Armor Captains’ Career Course, LTC Davis served as the Multi-National Division-Baghdad, Information Operations, Chief of Operations in Baghdad, Iraq during Operation Together Forward II.  Upon his return to Fort Hood, TX, LTC Davis assumed command of Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, trained the unit to deploy, and led the unit through the Iraqi Surge campaign in Baghdad, Iraq.  During the deployment the unit earned the Valorous Unit Award and the Combat Action Streamer.  In the final months of the deployment, LTC Davis served as the Assistant Operations Officer for the 7th Squadron, 10th United States Cavalry.

Upon redeployment, LTC Davis attended Harvard University where he earned a Master of Public Administration.  While at graduate school, he was a teaching assistant for courses on National Security Organization & Management, and Defense Resource Allocation & Force Planning.

LTC Davis next served as an Assistant Professor and the Deputy Director of Defense and Strategic Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He taught courses on Comparative Defense Policy, Insurgency & Counterinsurgency, and Platoon Operations.  In 2013, LTC Davis was awarded the Apgar Award for Excellence in Teaching, West Point's highest teaching honor. 

Following his first assignment to West Point, LTC Davis attended the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, earning a Master of Military Art & Science in Joint Planning Studies.  LTC Davis was next assigned to Fort Bliss, TX where he served as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry.

LTC Davis earned a Ph.D. in War Studies from King's College London and holds the academic rank of Assistant Professor.  He teaches courses in Research Methods in Strategic Studies, Strategic Studies Capstone, Strategic Studies Thesis, Advanced Individual Study, Comparative Defense Policy, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency, Sea and Air Power, and Strategic Decision Making.  His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with 3 Campaign Stars, the Combat Action Badge.  LTC Davis is also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.  His writings have been published by the Modern War Institute and in the New York Times, among others.

Ongoing Research Projects

Combating the Problem from Hell: Morality and Strategy in Humanitarian Military Intervention (Manuscript); Artificial Intelligence: Into the 5th Domain of Modern Warfare (Working Paper)

Publications & Presentations

Written Media:

The Decisive Role of Operational Time and the Information Environment in the Israel-Hezbollah War of 2006. Fort Leavenworth, KS, US: United States Army Command and General Staff College. 2014.…

“If War Can Have Ethics, Wall Street Can, Too,” The New York Times, October 3, 2016,… *Republished as a chapter in Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments: A Stone Reader, 1st Edition, Edited by Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, New York, NY, Liveright Publishing, 2017.
*Identified as a “What We’re Reading” selection by the Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press.
*Identified as a “What We’ve Been Reading” selection by Ethics & International Affairs, Cambridge University Press.…
*Identified as an “Editor’s Choice” selection by the European Business Ethics Network.…

“The Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia,” in Theater Planning Considerations for Displaced Persons in the USARPAC AOR, Center for Army Lessons Learned, August 1, 2017.

“Reflections on North Korea and Deterrence in the Twenty-First Century,” Modern War Institute, August 31, 2017.…

“A Tale of Two Dragons: Chinese Power Projection on the Silver Screen,” Modern War Institute, August 9, 2018.…

Radio, Television, and Podcast Appearance:

“The Strange Relationship Between Seeking Profit and Doing Good,” Wall and Broadcast, December 13, 2016,

“North Korea Could Get Ugly,” The Cat’s Roundtable, September 3, 2017,