David Maxwell is a senior fellow at FDD. He is a 30-year veteran of the United States Army, retiring in 2011 as a Special Forces Colonel with his final assignment serving on the military faculty teaching national security strategy at the National War College.
He has served in various command and staff assignments in the Infantry in Germany and Korea as well as in Special Forces at Ft. Lewis, Washington; Seoul, Korea; Okinawa, Japan; and the Philippines, with total service in Asia of more than 20 years. He served on the United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / United States Forces Korea CJ3 staff where he was a planner for UNC/CFC OPLAN 5027-98 and co-author of the original ROK JCS – UNC/CFC CONPLAN 5029-99 (North Korean Instability and Collapse) and later served as the Director of Plans, Policy, and Strategy (J5) and the Chief of Staff for Special Operations Command Korea (SOCKOR). From 2000 to 2002 he commanded 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Okinawa, Japan. He has been the G3 and Chief of Staff of the US Army Special Operations Command. He commanded the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines in 2006-2007.
He is a fellow at the Institute of Corean-American Studies (ICAS) and on the Board of Advisors for Spirit of America. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), the International Council of Korean Studies (ICKS), the Council of US Korean Security Studies (CUSKOSS), the Special Operations Association, the Small Wars Journal, and the OSS Society. For the past five years he taught a graduate course in Unconventional Warfare and Special Operations for Policy Makers and Strategists. He previously served as Associate Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.
He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and holds MMAS degrees from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced Military Studies and an MS degree in National Security Studies from the National War College of the National Defense University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Liberal Studies (ABD) at Georgetown, writing a dissertation titled “The Statesman, the Strategist, and the Special Forces Soldier: A Philosophy of Unconventional and Political Warfare.”