Lieutenant General David Barno
(USA, Retired, USMA 1976)

National Security Policy and Strategy, Leader Development, Leadership and Talent Management, Defense Reform, Future Conflict

Scholarly Work/Publications/Awards (Selected):
Foreign Affairs: “How to Cut the Defense Budget Responsibly” with Nora Bensahel and Travis Sharp, November 2, 2011. Washington Post: “How to fight in Afghanistan with fewer U.S. troops,” with Matthew Irvine, November 30, 2012. Foreign Policy.com: “Military Brain Drain,” February 13, 2013; “Loss Leader,” March 29, 2013. Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal (2), and numerous other awards and decorations for military and public service.

LTG Barno is a retired Army 3-star General, defense commentator, and national security analyst with over 35 years of government service. In his distinguished military career, he commanded at every level, culminating in theater command of the war in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005.  During his 19-month command in Afghanistan, Barno led 20,000 troops in the military transition to a light-footprint counter-insurgency mission and established the first U.S. operational headquarters in Kabul.  As overall U.S. and coalition commander, he was respoinsible for a diverse political-military portfolio, including regional military efforts with neighboring nations and extensive coordination with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United Nations, NATO’s  International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. Department of State and USAID, and the senior military leaders of many surrounding nations and numerous allies. A career infantry officer, Barno served many of his early  years in special operations forces with Army Ranger battalions to include combat in both the invasions of  Grenada and Panama.  He later commanded both a parachute infantry battalion and a Ranger battalion, and accumulated over 110 military parachute jumps .  In later years, he served in a series of complex joint service assignments. In his final Army assisgnment, he supervised Army installations worldwide, overseeeing a global multi-national workforce of 78,000 and a budget of $13 billion.  From 2006-2010, Barno served as the Director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, traveling extensively across the broader Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.  During the same period,  he chaired  the Department of Vetreran’s Affairs’  2007-2009 Advisory Committee on Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans and Families. Barno frequently serves as a lecturer on defense strategy and budget issues, leader development, ongoing conflicts, civil-military relations, and the changing shape of warfare.  Since leaving government, he has testified  before Congress on over a dozen occasions.  Barno writes a monthly column for Foreign Policy.com that addresses a wide range of defense and security topics.  Barno has appeared in a wide range of broadcast media, to include BBC, FOX News, the Charlie Rose Show,  the PBS NewsHour, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, C-Span, and others.  He is currently Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

M.A., National Security Studies, Georgetown University
B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point
National Security Leadership Program, Syracuse University-Johns Hopkins University
United States Army War College and Command and General Staff College

Member, Council on Foreign Relations; Member, International Institute of Strategic Studies