Dr Johnson, members of CCW, and University of Oxford colleagues mentor professional Visiting Fellows of the CCW Centre. The Visiting Research Fellows to CCW are drawn from across the academic and professional worlds, with senior officers of the United States, European and United Kingdom armed forces especially strongly represented. 

Our VRFs often join CCW prior to taking up a major new appointment, using their time with us to develop their thinking, broadening their understanding and engaging with some of the most respected academic specialists. In other cases, senior visitors have had the opportunity, through CCW, to articulate and test their ideas, and obtain rigorous feedback. Amongst these, James de Waal, a senior civil servant, was able to develop his work on civil-military relations and its effect on the making of policy. CCW is also assisting the British Army on future doctrine.

“After a life largely outside academic circles, I needed considerable guidance and this was readily and generously given by my supervisor at Oxford University, Sir Hew Strachan… I worked at Oxford within the Changing Character of Warfare Programme…and I am grateful for the considerable help given by the Directors, Dr Rob Johnson and Dr Jan Lemnitzer, and the programme coordinator Ruth Murray as I unravelled what the University had to offer.”
— Major-General (rtd) Christopher Elliott, in the Prologue to High Command (Hurst, 2015)

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People Power: How can the Armed Forces protect and enhance employee – employer loyalty and nurture vocation in the transactional climate?


Group Captain Chantal Baker joined the RAF as a Personnel Support Officer in 1999 on a University Cadetship. A personal specialist, she has served on Main Operating Bases including RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Coningsby and the Home of the RAF Regiment at RAF Honington. She has deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK, serving with NATO allies and latterly embedded with the US Marine Corps. She was also the combined personnel lead for the Operational Headquarters for Operation ATALANTA, based at Permanent Joint Headquarters. She has served in outer office appointments as ADC and more recently as the Deputy Personal Staff Officer to Commander-in-Chief AIR before being awarded the Chief of Air Staff Fellowship to study International Policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington DC. Following completion of Advanced Command and Staff College in 2013 she served as a Career Manager Supervisor in Air Manning, responsible for all engineer and logistics trades. She returned to RAF Lossiemouth as Officer Commanding Base Support Wing in 2015 and was Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group’s Fellowship lead before posting to the Remuneration policy team, as the MOD’s interface with the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body, responsible for leading the Armed Forces’ Pay Round. She moved to her current role as Assistant Head Strategy and Holding to Account for Training, Education, Skills, Recruitment and Resettlement (TESRR) in MOD on promotion in August 2018. She is an active member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Thinking Forum and alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust. 

Hudson Fellow - Royal Navy


Damian is a graduate of the University of Leeds where he read Geography and where he also completed an MA in Geographical Information Systems. He joined the Navy in 1995 and has served at sea in aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, frigates and destroyers, and ashore across a variety of operational, support, policy and planning roles. A logistician by training, he served in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns and well as in operations at sea (Sierra Leone and NATO counter trafficking operations). After attending the Joint Services Command & Staff Course at the Defence Academy, Damian’s more recent appointments have been focused on the higher level management of defence area, with three tours in the Ministry of Defence, including as the Private Secretary to the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations), and within the Finance and Military Capability directorate. He also served as a logistics operations and plans officer at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) with responsibility for the Middle East and EurAsian Theatres. Most recently he has just completed two years as the Commander Logistics in the Navy’s amphibious assault and command & control ship, HMS ALBION, bringing the ship out from an extended refit period and deploying with her to the Asia-Pacific region. As the Hudson Fellow, Damian's research interests are the interaction between geopolitics and energy security, and their implications for maritime forces.

The Great Middle Eastern War

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Larry P. Goodson is Professor of Middle East Studies at the US Army War College, where he is the only person to hold the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security twice (2014-2017, 2004-2007). Dr Goodson has been continually called upon to serve as a regional adviser on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East by senior US military and political leaders. Among his other academic appointments, Dr Goodson taught at the American University in Cairo (1994-2000) and conducted his dissertation field work in Peshawar, Pakistan (1986-1987). Dr Goodson completed all of his academic work at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (2001) as well as numerous chapters and articles. Currently, he is writing “The Great Middle Eastern War, which argues that the Syrian Civil War is the opening phase of the first “great war” of the 21st century.

Dr. Goodson has lived in Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and travelled extensively in the Middle East and South Asia, including India, the Gulf countries, North Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Cyprus. He has lectured on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Islam, and the Middle East to audiences at more than 100 universities, schools, and organisations, and been interviewed more than 1000 times on those subjects since September 11, 2001.

Hudson Fellow

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Originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Commander Malandrino was commissioned and graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1998 with a degree in History. He also holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and was selected as the President’s Honor Graduate. 

Commander Malandrino’s operational assignments include flying the F-14 Tomcat while being with the “Black Knights” of VF-154 in Atsugi, Japan, where he deployed in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). He transitioned to the F/A-18 Super Hornet and then flew with the “Checkmates” of VFA-211 where he deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Next, he flew with the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA- 103 where he deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom aboard the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) and was recognized as the 2012 Michael G. Hoff Atlantic Fleet Attack Aviator of the Year. Most recently, he commanded the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Two where he deployed aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of U.S. Asian foreign policy goals while based in Atsugi, Japan. He has flown 79 combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan, logged 3,376 hours of flight time, and made 768 carrier arrested landings.

Ashore, after graduating from the United States Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), he served as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor and as the training officer at Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic Fleet. He also worked on the Joint Staff, as an action officer and executive assistant in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, Deputy Directorate for Western Hemisphere Politico-Military Affairs. Most recently, he served as the fleet tactical representative to the Office of Naval Research Global. He has been published in Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, and Over the Front. He has recently researched the impact of service culture on an armed forces’ effectiveness and the future national security environment in Asia.

Exploring Changes in the Trilateral Interaction among the State, Rebel Groups, and Local Population


Dr Kazuhiro Obayashi is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Law at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. He was previously a visiting researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) in 2007 and 2012, and a consultant for the World Bank in 2006-2007. He is the author of Rebel Recruitment and Information Problems (Routledge, 2018), which explores the conditions under which rebel groups tend to rely more on coercion and inducement for recruitment. He is also a co-editor of Power Shift and Global Governance (Yuhikaku Publishing, 2018) published in Japanese. His articles have appeared in journals such as Asian Journal of Comparative Politics and International Area Studies Review. As a visiting fellow at the CCW, he is primarily conducting research on the state’s choice of counterinsurgency techniques that are intended to exploit the agency problems inside rebel groups. He is also engaged in research on the role of legislatures in conflict-ridden semi-democracies as well as a survey project on the relationship between war-time rebel governance and the postwar state legitimacy. Obayashi received his PhD in political science from the George Washington University, and MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Major Sam Whitlam
Ideology and Vulnerable adults: The evolution of terrorism?

Sam is a Parachute Regiment Officer, currently serving in the Ministry of Defence. His research is focused on examining the relationship between ideology and vulnerable adults.  This research is likely to revolve around objectively defining what is rational and irrational behaviour, within a given socio-economic, religious and national context. It may indicate a change in the character of terrorism, and in turn, result policy recommendations. Sam has served in the British Army since 2002. He holds a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Applied Security Strategy. 

Proxy War in Syria and Its Impacts on State Behaviour and Alliances

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Lt.Col.Dr. Hasan YÜKSELEN graduated from Turkish Air Force Academy in 1999 with a degree on Industrial Engineering. He also gained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Middle East Technical University, Ankara on International Relations with high honours. He completed his Command and Staff Course in 2014 at National Defence University Air Force Institute (former Turkish Air War College). He served 18 years in different tactical, operative and strategic units in Turkish Air Forces including Turkish General Staff (TGS) HQ. He deployed to Bosnia (EUFOR), Afghanistan (NATO ISAF) and Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve) in support of operations. He also has teaching experience in Turkish Armed Forces Intelligence School on Intelligence Analysis. Currently, he is assigned to NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre as the Deputy Chief of Analysis Division.

His research interests cover the studies on the concept of strategy from a theoretical perspective which incorporates critical realism, Russian Foreign Policy, and war studies. While at CCW he will explore the changing nature of Proxy War and non-state actors in Syria and their impacts on state behaviour and alliances.