Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Brigadier General (Retired) Russell D. Howard

Adjunct Professor

Brigadier General (retired) Russell D. Howard is President of Howard's Global Solutions,  and an Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He is also a Senior Fellow at Joint Special Operations University, Senior Mentor for Development Alternatives Incorporated, Senior Advisor for the Singapore Home Team Academy, and on the Board of Advisers for Laser Shot Incorporated. Previously, General Howard was the Director of the Jebsen Center for Counterterrorism Studies at the Fletcher School, and Head of the Department of Social Sciences and the Founding Director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Prior to going to West Point, General Howard was an Army Chief of Staff Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and Commander of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, Washington. Other assignments include Assistant to the Special Representative to the Secretary General during UNOSOM II in Somalia, Deputy Chief of Staff for I Corps, and Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for the Combined Joint Task Force, Haiti/Haitian Advisory Group.


Special Operations
Terrorist-Trafficking Nexus
Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Africa


General Howard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from San Jose State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of Maryland, a Master of Arts degree in International Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

NPTG 8577 - Special Ops & CounterTerrorism      

The role of special operations in combatting the terrorist threat has evolved since 9/11. Indeed, special operations forces (SOF) have been the post-9/11 military instrument of choice, particularly for sensitive, direct action operations of which failure--such as the killing of Osama bin Laden -- is not an option. Indeed, the skills and technologies that these combat forces apply are unmatched and highly effective. However, the fact that SOF forces are in such high demand and are used increasingly for a host of alternative mission assignments raises a contentious issue: are special operations units still “special”?
This workshop will explore several intelligence and SOF related capabilities and challenges related to their roles in countering terrorism. Intelligence and Special Operations Forces play critical roles in combating terrorist threats. To be sure, both intelligence and SOF have been instrumental in addressing all major threats to US national security for the past several decades, but since 9/11 both have increased in importance to U.S. policy makers as they address America's new enemies; transnational, non-state actors with global reach and who are seeking access to weapons of mass destruction.

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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NPTG 8578 - Intel & Counterterrorism      

This workshop will explore several intelligence related capabilities and challenges related to their roles in countering terrorism. Intelligence has played a critical role in addressing all major threats to US national security for the past several decades. However, since 9/11 intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination have increased in importance to U.S. policy makers as they address America's new enemies; transnational, non-state actors with global reach and who are seeking access to weapons of mass destruction. The Intelligence in Counterterrorism Workshop describes intelligence capabilities and actions in countering terrorist operations and activities. With regards to intelligence the workshop discusses the "intelligence cycle," the full gamut of intelligence gathering disciplines will be discussed. However, signals, technical, and human intelligence gathering will be emphasized, as will the challenges of gathering intelligence in denied areas. The workshop relies heavily on case studies and guest lecturers to reflect the challenges and opportunities facing the intelligence community in America's counterterrorism efforts.

Fall 2013 - MIIS

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NPTG 8610 - Seminar: Counterterrorism      

September 11, 2001 changed the way Americans view their security forever. Terrorism is no longer “someone else’s” problem. Now Americans are traumatically aware of how vulnerable they are to terrorism and terrorists. Given the events of the last decade and the ongoing campaign against global terrorism, it is imperative that citizens and their leaders understand and make sense of the threat, as well as conceptualize how terrorism might best be challenged and terrorists defeated. The “Counter-terrorism Seminar” is designed to address the challenges of terrorism in the current and future global security environment in a participatory format. Specifically, the seminar briefly reviews the threat terrorism poses to liberal democratic states, citizens and policymakers, then explores how liberal democracies can best predict, prevent, preempt and, if necessary, directly combat terrorism and terrorists. Five themes provide the course framework: Challenges to a Free Society, Strategies for Combating Terrorism, Eclectic (new) approaches to Countering Terrorism, Winning the (so called) War on Terrorism, and Counterterrorism in the post-bin Laden Security Environment. Also, controversial topics such as covert action, rendition, targeted killings, enhanced interrogation (torture), are discussed with particular emphasis on the legality of these and other counter-terror measures. The seminar culminates with a look into the future by discussing the challenges of the post-bin Laden terrorist threat and strategizing means to mitigate the threat.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS, Fall 2015 - MIIS

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NPTG 8646 - Terror & CT in Africa      

The Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Africa Seminar will address increased terrorist activity in Africa, and familiarize students with known terrorist organizations throughout the continent such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al Shabaab, the Lords Revolutionary Army (LRA), Boka Haram, the Libyan Armed Fighters Group, and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) among others. Seminar participants will evaluate U.S. and international counterterrorism policy and operations in Africa. Based on their evaluation, students will be asked to suggest unilateral, multilateral, “alternative” and mutually supporting policies and operations to address terrorist activity in Africa. In an effort to best apply “theory to practice,” seminar participants will learn how to prepare and apply African related terrorist group profiles and terrorist threat matrices as part of a group exercise and culminating presentation.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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NPTG 8657 - Sem: Homeland Security      

The Homeland Security Seminar is taught in three sections.

Section One examines natural and man-made threats, including terrorist threats, to the United States. It is vital that the origins, forms and potential consequences of threats to the nation be understood before effective policies to thwart them can be developed and implemented.

Section Two examines homeland security from the political and coordination perspectives. Homeland security policy, planning and operations require information sharing, communication and coordination at local, state, federal and international levels of governance; difficult undertakings in a democracy. Also, effective homeland security policy must balance the need for public security with the protection of civil liberties. Therefore, the Patriot Act is covered in detail in Section Two.

Section Three suggests policies to counter threats -- particularly terrorist threats -- to the United States. In Section Three the six critical mission components of the National Homeland Security Strategy are analyzed and critiqued in detail with a view to suggesting more effective national policies.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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