Colonel Suzanne Nielsen is a Professor of Political Science and the head of the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. An intelligence officer by background, she spent tours in Germany, the Balkans, Korea, and Iraq. She served on the personal staff of the Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, and she has also been a Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency. Her research interests include change in military organizations, civil-military relations, and cyber policy and strategy. Her most recent book, American National Security, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy with a B.S. in political science, she holds a masters degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and is an alum of the National War College. She also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. She serves on the governing council of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ongoing Research Projects
I am currently working on a literature review on the topic of civil-military relations and military effectiveness. Recent decades have seen tremendous growth in the literature on military innovation, with a special focus on bottom-up change. My current project explores the implications of this literature for civil-military relations theory.
Publications & Presentations
Meese, Michael J., Suzanne C. Nielsen, and Rachel M. Sondheimer. American National Security, 7th Edition. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. and Scott P. Handler, eds. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in American Foreign Policy, 6th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Jordan, Amos A., William J. Taylor,
Michael J. Meese, and Suzanne C. Nielsen. American National Security, 6th Edition. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. and Don M. Snider, eds. American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Kaufman, Daniel J., Jay M. Parker and Suzanne C. Nielsen, eds. Through Alternative Lenses: Current Debates in International Relations, 3rd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.
_____. Through Alternative Lenses: Current Debates in International Relations, 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. An Army Transformed: The U.S. Army’s Post-Vietnam Recovery and the Dynamics of Change in Military Organizations. The Letort Papers. Carlisle Barracks, PA: The Strategic Studies Institute, 2010.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. Political Control over the Use of Force: A Clausewitzian Perspective. The Letort Papers. Carlisle Barracks, PA: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, 2001.
Book Chapters and Articles
Nielsen, S. “The Role of the U.S. Military in Cyberspace.” Journal of Information Warfare 15, no. 2 (Spring 2016): 27-38.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. “Landpower in the Cyber Domain,” in American Grand Strategy and the Future of U.S. Landpower, eds. Joseph V. Da Silva, Hugh P. Liebert, and Isaiah Wilson III. Carlisle Barracks, PA: The Strategic Studies Institute, 2014.
_____. “Pursuing Security in Cyberspace: Strategic and Organizational Challenges.” Orbis 56, no. 3 (Summer 2012): 336-356.
_____. “American Civil-Military Relations Today: The Continuing Relevance of Samuel P. Huntington’s The Soldier and the State.” International Affairs 88, no. 2 (2012): 369-376.
_____. “The Tragedy of War: Clausewitz on Morality and the Use of Force.” Defence Studies 7, no. 2 (summer 2007): 208-238.
_____. “Rules of the Game? The Weinberger Doctrine and the American Use of Force,” in The Future of the Army Profession, 2nd ed., eds. Lloyd J. Matthews and Don M. Snider. New York: McGraw Hill Primus Custom Publishing, 2005.
_____. “The Army Officer as Servant and Professional,” in The Future of the Army Profession, 2nd ed. eds. Lloyd J. Matthews and Don M. Snider. New York: McGraw Hill Primus Custom Publishing, 2005.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. and Donald Welch. “Teaching Strategy and Security in Cyberspace: An Interdisciplinary Approach.” International Studies Perspectives (May 2003): 133-144.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. “The Army Officer as Servant.” Military Review (January-February 2003): 15-21.
_____. “Civil-Military Relations Theory and Military Effectiveness.” Policy and Management Review 2, no. 2 (2002): 1-21.
_____. “Rules of the Game? The Weinberger Doctrine and the American Use of Force.” In The Future of the Army Profession, eds. Lloyd J. Matthews, Don M. Snider and Gayle L. Watkins. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002.
Welch, Donald, Jerry Schumacher and Suzanne Nielsen. “Teaching Information Assurance to Policymakers,” in The Proceedings of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Information Assurance Workshop, West Point, New York, 5-6 June 2001.
Nielsen, Suzanne C. Review of Richard A. Hunt’s Melvin Laird and the Post-Vietnam Military, 1969-1973, H-Diplo Diplomatic and International History Discussion Forum, October 23, 2018.
_____. Review of Paul R. Viotti’s US National Security: New Threats, Old Realities, “The Continuing Search for Equilibrium in American Civil-Military Relations,” International Affairs 93, no. 3 (May 2017): 715-716.
_____. Review of Johnson-Freese, Joan, Educating America’s Military. H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews, 2013.
_____. Review of James Lebovic, The Limits of U.S. Military Capability: Lessons from Vietnam and Iraq, H-Diplo Diplomatic and International History Discussion Network, 2011.
_____. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. A review of the book by the same title by P.W. Singer. Military Review (May-June 2005): 103.
_____. “The Craft of Strategic Leadership.” A review of Supreme Command by Eliot Cohen. Joint Force Quarterly (autumn 2002): 136-137.