David Adesnik

Former Visiting Fellow
Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies

David Adesnik is a visiting fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on isolationism, national security strategy, and democracy promotion. He is part of AEI’s American Internationalism Project.

Before joining AEI, Adesnik was a research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He has served as deputy director of Joint Data Support at the US Department of Defense, where he focused on the modeling and simulation of irregular warfare and counterinsurgency. Earlier, he spent several months in Baghdad as an operations research and systems analyst for the Coalition Provisional Authority’s counter–improvised explosive device (IED) unit, Task Force Troy during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In 2008, he was part of John McCain’s presidential campaign national security staff. From 2002 to 2009, Adesnik was the coeditor of OxBlog, a blog started with a fellow Oxford University classmate.

A Rhodes scholar, Adesnik has a doctorate and master’s degree in international relations from Oxford University, where he wrote about the democracy promotion efforts of the Reagan administration. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.

Follow David Adesnik on Twitter @Adesnik.


  • International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, 2013–14
  • Research Staff Member, 2012–13; Adjunct Research Staff Member, 2008–10; Research Staff Member, 2005–08, Institute for Defense Analyses
  • Deputy Director, Joint Data Support, Office of the Secretary of Defense — Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (OSD/CAPE), US Department of Defense, 2010–12
  • Centennial Research Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2010–11
  • Foreign Policy and National Security Staff Member, John McCain for President, 2008
  • Operations Research and Systems Analyst, Task Force Troy, Multinational Corps — Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Baghdad, 2007–08
  • Editor, OxBlog, 2002–09


D.Phil and M.Phil, international relations, Oxford University, UK (Rhodes Scholar)
B.A., history, Yale University

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    Enterprise Blog Posts: http://www.aei-ideas.org/author/dadesnik/
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