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Thomas Howard Johnson

Phone: (831) 656-3190


Thomas H. Johnson is a Research Professor and faculty member of the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School as well the Director of the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies. Under his direction, the CSS program coordinates research activities on the peoples, societies, politics and conflicts of Central and South Asia.
At NPS, Professor Johnson teaches courses on Afghanistan, Central Asian crises, politics, terrorism, and security. Johnson has taught at the University of Southern California and the Foreign Service Institute, and frequently lectures at Service Academies. Before joining the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School, he served on the faculty of George Mason University.
For three decades, Professor Johnson has conducted research and written on Afghanistan and South Asia. He is a member of the Afghanistan Editorial Board of the National Security Archive. His publications have appeared in the American Political Science Review, International Security, Foreign Policy, Military Review, Journal of Politics, Orbis: A Journal of World Affairs, Central Asian Survey, China and Eurasian Forum Quarterly, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Strategic Insights, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Strategic Review, Politikon: South African Journal of Political Science, Journal of Modern African Studies as well as numerous scholarly edited volumes and texts. His commentaries have appeared in numerous media outlets to recently include the Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph, Toronto Star, Folha de S. Paulo and on PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Christina Amanpour Show, Al Jazeera America Inside Story with Ray Suarez, TVO’s Agenda, BBC Channel One and Newsday, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Points Consider with Tom Ashbrook, Press TV, CNN Radio, and Voice of America.
In 2008-9 he served as the Senior Political and Counterinsurgency Advisor to the Commander (General Jon Vance) of Canadian Afghan Task Force stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
His edited volume on COIN, Culture and Conflict was published by Stanford University Press in 2014.
His most recent book, Taliban Narratives: The Uses and Power of Stories in the Afghanistan Conflict was co-published by Oxford University Press and Hurst Publishers (London) in 2018:
Research Interests
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, terrorism
Teaching Interests
Afghanistan, Central and South Asia, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency