Wesleyan portrait of Robert  Cassidy

Robert Cassidy

Assistant Professor of the Practice in Center for the Study of Public Life

PAC - 318 High, 211

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Government

PAC - 318 High, 211


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BA Fitchburg State University
MA Boston University
MA Tufts University
MA U.S. Naval War College
MA French War College
PHD Tufts University

Robert Cassidy

Bob Cassidy's scholarly work generally explores strategy, irregular war, and military culture. Specifically, his research and publications include comparative studies on peace operations in Bosnia and Somalia, the Soviet and Russian wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and the post-2001 insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His research and writing have focused on the shortcomings the U.S. has exhibited in crafting strategy and thinking about the implications of long limited wars against adversaries who are ostensibly weaker in military might but who are more determined and resilient.  Colonel Cassidy (U.S.A. Retired) raises questions about the costs and consequences of America's propensity for tactics in most of the wars it has undertaken since World War II.     

Bob Cassidy is a retired U.S. Army colonel with over three decades of experience studying and practicing the art of strategy and war. He is currently researching policy and strategy problems in America’s wars. His books include War, Will, and Warlords; Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror; and Peacekeeping in the Abyss. Colonel Cassidy has served as a special assistant to three senior generals, a special operations director of assessments, a special mission task force planner, a battalion commander, and a brigade operations officer. He has also served as a military intelligence sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, and Grenada.

Bob Cassidy earned his Ph.D. from the Fletcher School, where he concentrated in security studies, diplomacy, and international law. He has master’s degrees in international relations and security studies from Boston University, the Fletcher School, and the U.S. Naval War College. Cassidy also earned the Diplôme d'Études Supérieures de Défense from the École de Guerre. He has taught strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and international relations at West Point. He was a Senior Fellow in the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. His military qualifications include ranger, jumpmaster, helicopter aviator; survival, evasion, resistance, and escape, and proficiency in Russian and French.

Academic Affiliations

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Office hours are by appointment.


Spring 2024
CSPL 116F - 01
Good Books on Bad Wars (FYS)

CSPL 329 - 01
Wars of Resistance