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Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen

External Researcher
Email Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen

Army Lieutenant Colonel SUZANNE C. NIELSEN is an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She is responsible for the International Relations Program and teaches courses in international relations and national security. She also chairs the Academy’s Scholarship Committee, which selects and prepares cadets to compete for the Rhodes, Marshall, and other nationally-competitive scholarships. An intelligence officer by background, Lieutenant Colonel Nielsen has served in the United States, Germany, the Balkans, Korea, and Iraq. Her research interests include change in military organizations, civil-military relations, and strategy. Her books include American National Security, 6th Edition, which she co-authored, and American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era, which she co-edited, both released by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2009. She contributed chapters to both volumes of The Future of the Army Profession and also published articles in Defence Studies, International Studies Perspective, Public Administration and Management, and Military Review. Her dissertation, Preparing for War: the Dynamics of Peacetime Military Reform, won the American Political Science Association’s Lasswell Award for the best dissertation in the field of public policy in 2002 and 2003. Lieutenant Colonel Nielsen is a distinguished graduate from the United States Military Academy and an alumna of the National War College. She holds a master’s degree in political science from Harvard University, a master’s degree in strategy from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.

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SSI books and monographs by Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen

  • An Army Transformed: The U.S. Army's Post-Vietnam Recovery and the Dynamics of Change in Military Organizations

    September 10, 2010

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen.
    Drawing on the literature on military innovation and reform, the author examines an important case of military change: the transformation of the U.S. Army in the 2 decades preceding the Persian Gulf War of 1991. The findings of this study have significant implications for how the U.S. Army should think about implementing changes needed today to meet new strategic, economic, and technological challenges.

  • Political Control over the Use of Force: A Clausewitzian Perspective

    April 01, 2001

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Suzanne C. Nielsen.
    The author addresses the issues regarding the ideal relationship between the commander and the statesman in time of war and the balance between political control and military operational expertise by examining what Carl von Clausewitz has to say about civil- military relations and the use of force. She looks in depth at Clausewitz s arguments, reviews his theoretical approach, and discusses four key implications of the basic idea that political purposes govern war.