Military Wiki
William C. Martel
Education B.A. from St. Anselm College, Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst, post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University[1]
Notable work(s) Victory in War: Foundations of Modern Military Policy (2007); The Technological Arsenal: Emerging Defense Capabilities (editor & author) (2001)
Title Associate Professor of International Security Studies

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.[1]


He has a B.A. from St. Anselm College, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst.[1] He was also a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University from 1991–93.[1]


Martel was the Director and Founder of the Center for Strategy and Technology from 1993–99, and Associate Professor of International Relations at the Air War College during the same years.[1] From 1999–2005 he was Professor of National Security Affairs, and Chair of Space Technology and Policy Studies, at the Naval War College.[1]

He has served on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (2001–02), and is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Naval War College Review.[1] He has also been the principal investigator on space policy study with research support from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.[1]


Commenting on the entrepreneurs who in the wake of 9/11 were selling everything from a plastic tent complete with an air-filtration system to keep the whole family safe in the event of a germ attack, to germproof bodysuits and mail sterilizers, he said: "It is just people looking for security, in the face of systemic insecurity."[2]

Speaking in 2006 about targeted killings of high-profile suspects whose capture is typically deemed impossible or too great a risk, he said: "It's a pretty dicey proposition capturing somebody. You can't do a snatch and grab casually." In terms of domestic law, he said: "It is permissible to attack individuals who are heads of [either state or non-state] organizations in combat against the United States.[3] Commenting as well in 2006 on the terrorist National Intelligence Estimates declassified intelligence assessment on terrorism, Martel said that its hedging and passive voice reflected an analysis-by-committee approach that wasn't all that helpful to policymakers.[4] One of its conclusions was that the global jihadist movement is now using the Internet to communicate and to promote its ideology.[4] Martel said: "No kidding! I was stunned at how pedestrian it was."[4]

In 2008, he hailed Bush's announcement that he is cutting the length of new tours in Iraq, saying: "in a war military, you have to cut corners to meet objectives. Progress comes in small doses."[5] The Christian Science Monitor quoted Martel in 2008 saying of al-Qaeda's recruitment of Americans: "It's an immensely adaptive organization", while adding that it could potentially make it more open to penetration by western spies.[6] "It could make it easier for us to understand what they're doing, and why," said Martel.[6]

Speaking of Faisal Shahzad in 2010, he said: “This may suggest we are moving from the ‘A’ team in recruits to the ‘B’ team or even the ‘C’ team."[7]



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