Dr. Mark A. Bucknam – Col USAF (Ret.)

Professor, National Security Strategy

National War College

Dr. Mark A. Bucknam is a professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College, where he has served as a core course director, Director of Research and Writing, and as a Department Chair. Prior to joining the National War College, he spent nearly 4 years at the Pentagon on the staff of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, serving as the Director for Campaign and Contingency Plans. In 2012, Dr. Bucknam retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force after 30 years of active-duty service. During his military career, he flew fighters (A-10s, AT-38s, and F-16s) in Europe, the United States, and the Pacific, culminating in command of the 51st Operations Group, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.  He also served three staff assignments in the Pentagon, on the Air Force Staff, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at Virginia Tech, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree in materials science and engineering. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and in 1999 he was awarded a PhD in War Studies from King's College, University of London. He is the author of several journal articles on national security strategy and policy and of one book, Responsibility of Command, on the political-military dynamics behind decisions to use military force. Dr. Bucknam is a graduate of the National War College, Class of 2001, and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and of the Council on Foreign Relations (having spent a year as a Senior Military Fellow with the Council in Manhattan, New York, 2005-2006).  In addition to overseeing the college’s research and writing programs, he teaches courses on nuclear weapons and national security, the Nuclear Enterprise, and an Introduction to Strategic Logic and Joint Warfighting. He has previously taught courses on the global context, South Asia, the military instrument of power, memoirs in American foreign policy, and air power in modern war. He is also very interested in science and energy.

Functional Expertise:  Nuclear Weapons, Deterrence, Airpower, U.S. Security Policy and Strategy

Regional Expertise:  South Asia