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Major Jahara Matisek

Assistant Professor of Military & Strategic Studies

Department of Military & Strategic Studies

Official photo of Major Jahara Matisek
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 2018-2019 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. Beginning in 2019, Maj Matisek will become an Instructor Pilot on the T-53 to develop, train, and inspire the next generation of Air Force aviators.

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, Colorado (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

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

Hybrid Warfare and the Gray Zone of War


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

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

“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)

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

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

“Hybrid Warriors attacking Western Civil Society: Creating Schismogenesis in a new Battlespace?” Parameters, (coauthored with Buddhika Jayamaha)(forthcoming 2018-2019)

“Getting American Security Force Assistance Right: Political Context Matters.” Joint Forces Quarterly, (coauthored with William Reno) (forthcoming 2018-2019)

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

“Let's Make ISIS a State.” Cicero Magazine (30 Sep. 2015)

“As US Bombs ISIS, Be Wary of Moscow's Spies.” Defense One (2 Dec. 2015)

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

“Trump Civil-Military Relations.” Cicero Magazine (19 June 2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Reviews
Review of Canada and Conflict: A hard-hitting look at Canadian security post-9/11, from the Afghanistan War to US relations and Arctic sovereignty, (by Patrick James), published by Strategic Studies Quarterly (2015)

Review of 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)

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

Review of Why Europe Intervenes in Africa: Security, Prestige and the Legacy of Colonialism by Catherine Gegout, African Studies Quarterly (forthcoming 2018-2019)

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

“The “Goldilocks Zone” of War and Peace.” (Under Review)

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

“The Logic of a Turkish 'Breakup' with the U.S. and NATO: Did the Syrian Civil War Ruin the Relationship?” with Buddhika Jayamaha (Under Review)

“Bitcoin’s Blockchain Technology for Hybrid Warfare: Laws to the Rescue?” with Wilson VornDick (Under Review)

“The Restraint of Military Force in Civil Wars: How Civilian Control Limits the Targeting of Civilians.” Working Paper with Patrick Burke

“The Third Wave of Securitization: How Coercion Trumped Democracy after the Cold War.” Working Paper with Buddhika Jayamaha

“Smoke and Mirrors in Iran and Saudi Arabia: Domestic Logic of Regional Interventions.” Working Paper with Buddhika Jayamaha, Kevin S. Petit, Will Reno, Matt Rose and Molly Jahn

“Politics of Overflight: Alliance Shakedown Operations.” Working Paper with Buddhika Jayamaha

“New Models of Civil-Relations in Africa.” Working Paper with Will Reno

“Libya 2011: Operation Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector.” Chapter in co-edited volume: Modern Air Campaigns: The Effectiveness of Air Power since Desert Storm, eds., Dr. Phil Haun and Dr. Colin Jackson, under contract with Cambridge University Press (draft due 1 July 2019)