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Lt. Col. Jahara Matisek

Assistant Professor of Military & Strategic Studies

Department of Military & Strategic Studies

Official photo of Major Matisek (DFMI)
Contact Information

(719) 333-9033




Major Jahara ‘FRANKY’ Matisek is an Assistant Professor of Military and Strategic Studies (MSS) at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., and is a 2018-2020 Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point, New York. As the Chief of Faculty Development for MSS, he is responsible for the intellectual and pedagogical development of over 20 MSS faculty members. Maj Matisek is becoming an Instructor Pilot on the T-53 to develop, train, and inspire the next generation of Air Force aviators. In 2020, he will deploy to Afghanistan to fly the E-11 BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node).

Before attending his doctorate program, Maj Matisek was a C-17 Instructor Pilot that accumulated over 2,000 flight hours, to include over 700 hours of combat time, and was a T-6 Instructor Pilot at the prestigious Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) program. He has deployed to İncirlik Air Base, Turkey, as a C-17 pilot in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, as the Chief of Diplomatic Clearances, where he distinguished himself as a key planner in the 2011 “No Fly Zone” operations in Libya.


Ph.D., Political Science (Comparative Politics & International Relations), Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. (2018)

Graduate Certificate, African Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.(2018)

Master of Arts, Political Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. (2017)

Air Command & Staff College, correspondence (2015)

Master of Science, International Relations (National Security Affairs & Regional Focus: Europe), Troy University, Troy Ala. (2012)

Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. (2012)

Master of Public Administration, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla. (2010)

Air & Space Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.(2005)

Bachelor of Science, Behavioral Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2005)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor in MSS & Chief of MSS Faculty Development, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2018-present)

Non-Resident Fellow at MWI at U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. (2018-2019)

AFIT Ph.D. Student, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. (2015-2018)

T-6 Instructor Pilot, 80FTW, Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas (2011-2015)

Chief of Diplomatic Clearances, Air Mobility Division, CAOC, Al Udeid AB, Qatar (2011)

C-17 Instructor Pilot, JB Lewis-McChord, 10AS, Tacoma, Wash. (2008-2011)

Student Pilot, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance Air Force Base, Enid, Okla. (2006-2008)

Pre-Cadet Assignee, 66WPS, Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nev. (2005-2006)

Honors & Awards

Allen E. Dorn Award for Outstanding Researcher of the Year, Department of Military and Strategic Studies, Academic Year 2018-2019, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2019)

Honorable Mention Essay (The Strategic Crisis in the American Way of War) in The Strategy Bridge’s 2nd Annual Writing Competition on Strategy (2018)

Honorable Mention Essay (The Death of American Conventional Warfare) in The Strategy Bridge’s 1st Annual Writing Competition on Strategy (2017)

Small Wars Journal and Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Finalist (Dealing with the Arab Spring) Article (2017)

Winning paper (Gray Deterrence) for the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM)

General Larry D. Welch Deterrence Writing Award (2016)

Outstanding Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer in Air Education and Training Command (2014)

Company Grade Officer of the Year, 80th Operations Support Squadron (2013)

Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer School (2012)

Air Medal (4 OLC)

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal (1 OLC)

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, 1 device

Combat Readiness Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal, 3 devices

Iraq Campaign Medal, 2 devices

Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal (Haiti-Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE)

Air & Space Campaign Medal (Libya-Operation ODYSSEY DAWN)

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, 1 device

(Non-Article 5) NATO Medal (Libya-Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Security Force Assistance

Military Effectiveness

Civil-Military Relations

Conflict in Africa & Middle East

Gray Zone Warfare Strategies

Blockchain and Bitcoin for Hybrid Warfare


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

“Extending the American Century: Revisiting the Social Contract.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (coauthored with Travis Robison and Buddhika Jayamaha) (forthcoming Fall 2019)

“Bitcoin’s Blockchain Technology for Hybrid Warfare: Laws to the Rescue?” Journal of Information Warfare (coauthored with Wilson VornDick) (forthcoming Summer 2019)

“Smoke and Mirrors in the Middle East: Iranian and Saudi Logics of Regional Interventions.” Middle East Quarterly (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha et. al.) (forthcoming Summer 2019)

“Turkish Breakup with the U.S. and NATO: The Illogical Logics.” Journal of Political Risk 7, no. 5 (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (May 2019)

“Social Media Warriors: Leveraging a New Battlespace.” Parameters 48, no. 4: 11-24. (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (Winter 2018-2019)

“Changing Weather Patterns, Climate Change and Civil War Dynamics: Institutions and Conflicts in the Sahel.” Journal of Diplomacy: 70-88. (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha, William Reno, and Molly Jahn)(Fall/Winter 2018)

“An Effective Senegalese Military Enclave: The Armée-Nation “Rolls On”.” African Security 12, no. 1 : 62-86 (2019

“Getting American Security Force Assistance Right: Political Context Matters.” Joint Forces Quarterly, 65-73 (coauthored with William Reno) (Jan. 2019)

“A New Era of Insurgent Recruitment: Have 'New' Civil Wars changed the Dynamic?” Civil Wars (coauthored with William Reno) (2018)

“The Crisis of American Foreign Military Assistance: Strategic Dithering and Fabergé Egg Armies” Defense & Security Analysis, 34, no. 3 : 1-24. (2018)

“American Civil-Military Relations since George Washington: Has Donald Trump Changed the Dynamic?” Outlines of Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, Law, 10, no. 3, : 54-67. (2017)

“Shades of Gray Deterrence: Issues of Fighting in the Gray Zone.” Journal of Strategic Security, 10, no. 3, : 1-26. (2017)

Policy Relevant Articles:
“Cased Telescoped Ammunition: The Next Step in Ammo Evolution?” Small Arms Defense Journal, (coauthored with Nathan Fairhurst) (forthcoming Nov./ Dec. 2019)

“Grab your Coats: Can America succeed in the Arctic?” Modern Diplomacy, (coauthored with Mathieu Barron) (11 June 2018)

“NATO at a Crossroads: Why Turkey is becoming such a Problem for the Alliance.” Modern War Institute, (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (7 June 2019)

“Executive Orders and Troops on the Border: Political Norms and the Securitization of American Problems.” Modern War Institute (coauthored with Ryan Burke) (15 Feb. 2019)

“Why Airpower needs Landpower.” Modern War Institute (coauthored with Jon McPhilamy) (5 Nov. 2018)

“The Strategic Crisis in the American Way of War: A Global Discount Security Shop?” The Strategy Bridge (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (23 Oct. 2018)

“Hybrid War: Attacking the ‘Civil’ in Civil Society.” US Army War College: War Room (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (13 April 2018)

“The Blockchain Arms Race: America vs. China.” The National Interest (14 March 2018)

“Is China Weaponizing Blockchain Technology for Gray Zone Warfare?” Global Security Review (13 March 2018)

“Turkey and the U.S. on the Brink in Syria.” Columbia SIPA: Journal of International Affairs (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha) (27 Feb. 2018)

“The Death of American Conventional Warfare: It’s the Political Willpower, Stupid.” The Strategy Bridge (coauthored with Ian Bertram) (5 Nov. 2017)

“Redefining Drones in the Professional Lexicon.” Over the Horizon: Multi-Domain Operations & Strategies (1 Sep. 2017)

“Dealing with the Arab Spring from the Combined Air Operations Center.” Small Wars Journal (17 April 2017)

“Physical Fitness is not the key to winning America’s Future Wars.” Modern War Institute (7 Feb. 2017)

“Trump’s Russian Cyber-Hack Controversy: New era of post-Civil-Military Relations?” Duck of Minerva (18 Jan. 2017)

“Change Physical Standards to Recognize Most Jobs Don’t Require ‘Combat Fitness’.” Task & Purpose (17 Nov. 2016)

“5 Reasons an F-22 Raptor Restart Is a Terrible Idea.” Task & Purpose (20 June 2016)

“The Danger of Trump to Civil-Military Relations.” Cicero Magazine (19 June 2016)

“A pilot responds: No, General Petraeus, airpower isn’t the answer in Afghanistan.” Foreign Policy: The Best Defense (19 Jan. 2016)

“As US Bombs ISIS, Be Wary of Moscow’s Spies.” Defense One (Dec. 2015)

“Let’s Make ISIS a State.” Cicero Magazine (Sep. 2015)

“Drones and Airpower: A Lack of Deterrence in Unconventional Warfare.” Small Wars Journal 11, no. 9 (2 Sep. 2015)

Chapters in Edited Volumes:
“Libya – 2011.” Chapter in co-edited volume: Modern Air Campaigns: The Effectiveness of Air Power since Desert Storm, eds., Phil Haun and Colin Jackson, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming Summer 2021)

“Senegal: How the Casamance Conflict did not impact society.” Chapter in co-edited volume: Security Threats, Militarization and Democratic Control of the Military, eds., David Kuehn and Yagil Levy, Lynne Rienner (forthcoming Dec. 2020)

“The Rise of Strong Militaries in Africa: Defying the Odds?” Chapter in co-edited volume: Sandhurst Trends in International Conflict Series, eds., David Brown, Donette Murray, Norma Rossi and Martin Smith, Howgate Publishing, (forthcoming Dec. 2019)

“Multidomain Airpower Strategy: Integrating Air, Space, and Cyber Assets.” Chapter in co-edited volume: Military Strategy, Joint Operations, and Airpower, eds., Ryan Burke, Mike Fowler, and Kevin McCaskey, Georgetown University Press (1 July 2018)

Technical Writing (White Papers):
“Infrastructure as a key point of American Weakness: Ripe for Attack?” Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Future of Great Power Competition & Conflict Project, J39, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (8 April 2019)

“Adversarial Information Warfare undercutting America.” SMA Future of Great Power Competition & Conflict Project, J39, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (8 April 2019.

“Increasing Importance of the Polar Regions: Potential for Conflict?” SMA Future of Great Power Competition & Conflict Project, J39, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (8 April 2019)

“Outlasting China and Russia: An Alternative American Way to Victory in the 21st Century.” SMA Future of Great Power Competition & Conflict Project, J39, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (8 April 2019)

“Air Coercion Campaigns: Are they Viable in the 21st Century?” White Paper for Military Deputy to the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, U.S. Army Brigadier General Michael Fenzel (12 Oct. 2018)

Book Reviews:
“Why Europe Intervenes in Africa: Security, Prestige and the Legacy of Colonialism” by Catherine Gegout, forthcoming in African Studies Quarterly (Forthcoming 2019)

“Warlord democrats in Africa: ex-military leaders and electoral politics,” edited by Anders Themnér, published by Democratization (2017)

“The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War,” vol. 1, Australia and the War in the Air by Dr. Michael Molkentin, published by Air & Space Power Journal, 30, no. 1: 98-100 (2016)

Works in Progress:
“The Irony of the American War on Terror: The System Works.” with Ryan Burke (Under Review)

“The “Goldilocks Zone” of War and Peace.” JCLD, with Ryan Burke (Under Review)

“The Crisis of Security Sector Reform in Fragmented States: Oligopolies, Duopolies, and Monopolies of Violence.” with Joseph Greenbaum and Buddhika Jayamaha (in-progress)

“A Path to American Hegemony in the 21st Century: Letting China and Russia Drain Themselves.” Foreign Affairs, with Ryan Burke (in-progress)

“Western Security Force Assistance in Weak States: Time for a Peacebuilding Approach.” RUSI Journal, with Emily Knowles (Under Review)

“The American Polar Pivot: Gaining a Comparative Advantage in Great Power Competition.” MCU Journal, with Ryan Burke (Under Review)

“Reinventing the Marine Expeditionary Spirit for 21st Century Warfare.” Marine Corps Gazette (Accepted)