Seth G. Jones
Seth G. Jones is a senior vice president, Harold Brown Chair, director of the International Security Program, and director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He leads a bipartisan team of over 50 resident staff and an extensive network of non-resident affiliates dedicated to providing independent strategic insights and policy solutions that shape national security. He also teaches at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Prior to joining CSIS, Dr. Jones was the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. He also served as representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the assistant secretary of defense for special operations. Before that, he was a plans officer and adviser to the commanding general, U.S. Special Operations Forces, in Afghanistan (Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command–Afghanistan). In 2014, Dr. Jones served on a congressionally mandated panel that reviewed the FBI’s implementation of counterterrorism recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report. Dr. Jones specializes in irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and covert action. He is the author of Three Dangerous Men: Russia, Iran, China and the Rise of Irregular Warfare (W.W. Norton, forthcoming); A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland (W.W. Norton, 2018), Waging Insurgent Warfare (Oxford University Press, 2016), Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida after 9/11 (W.W. Norton, 2012), and In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (W.W. Norton, 2009). Dr. Jones has published articles in a range of journals, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and International Security, as well as newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Dr. Jones is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Seth Jones’ new book details the dramatic untold story of one of the CIA’s most successful intelligence operations during the Cold War, which has important implications for today’s threat from Russia. In 1982, while Soviet-backed Polish prime minister Wojciech Jaruzelski worked to crush a budding opposition movement through martial law, the CIA launched a sophisticated intelligence campaign supporting dissident groups—particularly the budding political force Solidarity in Poland. With President Ronald Reagan’s support, the U.S. helped fund underground newspapers, support radio programs, and conduct a proactive information campaign. This covert action program, code-named QRHELPFUL, was vital in establishing a free and democratic Poland and undermining the KGB’s global information campaign.