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Dr. Donald Abenheim

Associate Professor

National Security Affairs


Research Interests
History of war in Europe; politics and society in Central Europe; Germany, 1648-present; Democratic civil-military relations in the Euro-Atlantic area, 17th century to present; Euro-Atlantic security, defense and military policy; Material culture of total war in Central Europe, 1918-1945; State, nations and nationalism in Europe; U.S.-European diplomacy and strategy; Enlargement of NATO, 1948-present; Security sector reform in central and eastern Europe, 1919-present

Donald Abenheim joined the NPS faculty in 1985. He is Academic Associate for Strategic Studies and an Associate Professor of National Security Affairs. Since 1987, he has been a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. in European history in 1985. He helped to create the Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR) in 1993, and led its successful Expanded International Education and Training (E-IMET) European programs until 2000. He presently represents CCMR to the Consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace Defense Academies. From 1994 until 2000, he organized seminars in the civil-military relations of NATO Enlargement at HQ, NATO, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Austria and Georgia. The author of the monograph, Reforging the Iron Cross: The Search for Tradition in the German Armed Forces (Princeton, 1988), his most recent publications have appeared in the Oxford Companion to Military History (2000) (NATO and German military history) as well as in Orbis (Vol. 46, 1, Winter 2002) and the Hoover Institution Digest (Winter/Spring, 2003) on the evolution of NATO policy and strategy from a historical perspective. Prior to his role in the advent of CCMR, he consulted with the strategic directorates of the army and navy staffs, as well as with the Office of Net Assessment. He lectures widely in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and has been interviewed by such international media as the International Herald Tribune, Die Zeit, and the Los Angeles Times on questions of contemporary policy and strategy.

Before the completion of his doctoral studies in 1985, he was a civilian staff member of U.S. Army, Europe as a liaison to the Bundeswehr in alliance burden sharing; an archivist at the Hoover Institution on Germany in the 20th century; and a museum curator at the Presidio of San Francisco on the U.S. Army in the 19th and 20th centuries and military regalia.

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