Counterinsurgency from the Ground Up: A Practitioner’s Perspective on COIN in Iraq and Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 11:00am

E40-496 Pye Conference Room 1 Amherst Street, Cambridge

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



Interested in what it was like on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan? Curious about what individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines were actually doing? Intrigued by the theory and practice of counterinsurgency operations? Want the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the ins and outs of multiple deployments in very different places in Iraq and Afghanistan? Just wondering which war movie or TV show is the most accurate to these conflicts? Join LtCol Drake, Infantry Officer, Reconnaissance Officer, former Counterinsurgency Instructor, and Operational Planner for a discussion of one Marine’s experience in these conflicts as a Platoon Commander and Company Commander – and how our strategy worked (or didn’t work) at the lowest levels.


Thaddeus Drake

Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Drake is the Marine Corps’ 2022-2023 Fellow at the MIT Security Studies Program. An infantry and reconnaissance officer as well as an operational planner, he has served in numerous command and staff assignments, including three combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and multiple other overseas tours. 

Lieutenant Colonel Drake has served as an instructor for the Marine Corps’ Basic School and Infantry Officer Courses, as an operational planner focused on contingency and crisis response operations throughout the Middle East, and as a staff officer for multiple units in the Continental United States as well as overseas. Most recently, he served as the Inspector-Instructor, 1st Battalion 24th Marines.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in History from the United States Naval Academy and a Masters of Operational Studies from the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting. 


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
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