James Siebens


Defense Strategy & Planning

James Siebens is a Fellow with the Defense Strategy and Planning program, and an editor of Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy: The Use of Force Short of War (Routledge 2020), a book on US strategy and military operations since the end of the Cold War. Siebens’ research focuses on grand strategy, foreign military intervention, and gray zone conflict. He previously served as a Research Associate and as Special Assistant to the President and CEO at the Stimson Center. Prior to joining Stimson, Siebens worked as a Data Analyst at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, where he contributed to a Defense Department project on Gray Zone conflict.

Siebens holds an M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Global Security from American University’s School of International Service.


Draws lessons about the use of military force as a coercive tool, using historical and quantitative analysis of U.S. foreign policy in the post-Cold War era (1991-2018)

STEP works with public and private stakeholders to implement measures that would improve supply chain security and efficiency in ways that align with WMD nonproliferation commitments.

Developing practical approaches to cyber risk management with the guidance of advisors from the cyber security and broader risk management communities

Research & Writing
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Military Coercion and US Foreign Policy: The Use of Force Short of War

Examining the use of the U.S. military force as a coercive tool, using lessons drawn from the post-Cold War era (1991–2018).

We Don’t Need Airstrikes to Restore Deterrence in the Strait of Hormuz

We Don’t Need Airstrikes to Restore Deterrence in the Strait of Hormuz Dr. Christopher Bolan argues convincingly that one reason U.S. deterrence is failing in the Strait of Hormuz is that U.S. policymakers are not clearly communicating their demands. T…

Concession…or Common Sense? Trading Drills for Dialogue

Much has been made of President Trump’s post-summit announcement that he was cancelling joint war games with South Korea. In light of his recent campaign of “maximum pressure” and last summer’s threats of “fire and fury like the world has never se…

How Postponing a Wargame Helped Create a Diplomatic Opening

Delaying Foal Eagle 2018 made an underappreciated contribution toward the first meeting of U.S. and North Korean heads of state. U.S. and South Korean officials credit the U.S. strategy of maximum pressure and “zero concessions…

What Syrian-Peace Negotiators in Geneva Must Learn from Russia

The latest round of Geneva-based intra-Syrian peace talks opened on Tuesday with little hope for a breakthrough, because the Syrian regime and the opposition begin at an impasse over whether President Bashar al-Assad might be deposed while his grip on…

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