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JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy

JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy performs innovative research and advocacy on vital U.S. defense, strategic and general national security issues.

Gemunder Center Policy Task Forces:

  • Iran Task Force

    The Gemunder Center’s revamped Iran Task Force brings together former senior military officers, high-ranking government officials, energy experts and business leaders to address the pressing challenges to U.S. national security posed by Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.

  • Gaza Assessment Task Force

    The Hamas strategy employed in the 2014 Gaza War represents the new face of war that threatens to undermine the effectiveness of conventional militaries, endangers civilians in irregular conflicts and distorts the international legal structure. The Gaza Assessment Task Force closely studied the evolution of Hamas’s strategy and Israel’s response, based on primary source research and discussions with senior Israeli, Palestinian and United Nations (U.N.) officials.

  • EMP Task Force

    JINSA’s Gemunder Center EMP Task Force convenes former high-ranking government and military officials, directors of national laboratories, nuclear engineers and other experts to raise awareness and develop actionable recommendations to enhance U.S. strategic deterrence, critical infrastructure and societal resiliency against the spectrum of electromagnetic threats.

  • U.S.-Israel Security Task Force

    This task force was established to examine with fresh eyes how to update the U.S.-Israel security relationship amid dramatic regional changes to meet growing dangers and capitalize on new opportunities.

  • Hybrid Warfare Task Force

    This task force was established to articulate how actions taken by U.S., Israeli and other allied militaries in actual combat situations comply with, and at times exceed, the requirements of the law of armed conflict (LOAC), and to explain how hybrid adversaries like Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic State intentionally exploit that same body of law to stymie U.S. and allied forces in battle and discredit their self-defense operations in the forum of public opinion.

Distinguished Fellows:

  • IDF Major General (ret.) Yaakov Amidror is a Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy Distinguished Fellow and the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies (JISS). General Amidror was formerly the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel, as well as the head of the National Security Council, from 2011-2013. During his 36-year career in the IDF, Maj. Gen. Amidror served as Commander of IDF Military Colleges, Military Secretary for the Minister of Defense, Director of the Intelligence Analysis Division, and as Intelligence Officer for the Northern Command. Maj. Gen. Amidror received a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Haifa, and has authored several books on intelligence and military strategy, including Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience.

  • Major General (ret.) Yaacov Ayish is JINSA’s Gemunder Center Distinguished Fellow and Senior Director of Israeli Affairs in Israel. He was born in December 1962 in Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel. In 1981 he was drafted to the Armour Corps, served as a combat fighter, officer and a company commander. In 1990, he was appointed commander of the 82 'Gaash' armour Battalion of 'Saar Mi-Golan' 7th Brigade, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Between the Years of 1991-1994, Ayish served as a deputy brigade commander and afterwards as an operations officer of the 36 'Gaash' Division in the Northern Command. In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and was appointed the commander of a reserve armour brigade and commander of the Armour and Engineering Training Centre at the IDF NTC. In 1999, Ayish was appointed commander of the 7th Brigade, in the Golan Heights - Northern Command. Between the years of 2002-2004, during the Second Intifada, he served as the head of the Operations Department in the Operations Branch at the General Staff.

    In 2004, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and served as the commander of the 'Mapatz' 319 Division of the Northern Command. From 2005-2008, during the Second Lebanon War, Ayish served as the Ground Forces Command Chief of Staff. In 2008, Ayish served as the head of the 'Et Ha'asif', an IDF Defense efficiency program. This program was implemented with McKinsey & Company which is a global management consulting firm.

    In October 2010, Ayish was promoted to the rank of Major General and was appointed as the Head of the Operations Branch (J3) in the General Staff. In September 2012, Maj. Gen. Ayish was appointed to the position of the Israeli Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the U.S and Canada in the U.S.A. until his retirement.

    Maj. Gen. Ayish has a B.A. in Political Science from the Haifa University; he is graduated of the Joined Staff and Command course in the British Army. Ayish has a M.A in Business Administration from the Tel-Aviv University.

    Maj. Gen. Ayish is married to Dalia, and is the father of a daughter and three sons.

  • Geoffrey S. Corn is the Vinson & Elkins Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston. Prior to joining the South Texas faculty in 2005, Professor Corn served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as an officer, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2004, and a final year as civilian legal expert on law of war matters. Professor Corn currently serves on JINSA's Hybrid Warfare Task Force and was an advisor on JINSA's 2014 Gaza Task Force.

    Professor Corn's teaching and scholarship focuses on the law of armed conflict, national security law, criminal law, and criminal procedure. His Army career included service as the Army's senior law of war expert advisor, tactical intelligence officer in Panama; supervisory defense counsel for the Western United States; Chief of International Law for US Army Europe; Professor of International and National Security Law at the US Army Judge Advocate General's School; and Chief Prosecutor for the 101st Airborne Division. He earned is B.A. from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, his JD with highest honors from George Washington University, his LLM as the distinguished graduate from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School.

    He is also a distinguished military graduate of U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, and a graduate of U.S. Army Command and General Staff Course. Professor Corn has testified as an expert witness at the Military Commission in Guantanamo, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and in federal court. He is co-author of The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Perspective; The Laws of War and the War on Terror; National Security Law and Policy: Principles and Policy; U.S. Military Operations: Law, Policy, and Practice; National Security Law and the Constitution, and Law in War: A Concise Overview (with K. Watkin and J. Williamson).

  • Sander Gerber is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Hudson Bay Capital, a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund that invests in markets worldwide. Mr. Gerber, who has a long history of engagement on international issues, was awarded JINSA's 2017 Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award for championing the Taylor Force Act, a bipartisan and paradigm shifting anti-terrorism bill. In December 2008, President Bush appointed Mr. Gerber Vice Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In June 2005, Mr. Gerber was selected by President Bush to represent the United States at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Intolerances. He was a member of the U.S. Honorary Delegation attending the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel in Jerusalem, and served on the AIPAC National Board of Directors from 2004 to 2016. Currently Mr. Gerber is a fellow at the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the New York Economic Club.

  • Lieutenant General Richard Natonski, USMC is a native of New Canaan, CT, he graduated from the University of Louisville in 1973, and was commissioned as a Marine Second Lieutenant. During his illustrious military career Lt. Gen. Natonski served as a Platoon Commander in the evacuations of citizens from Phnom Penh and Saigon in 1975. He attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

    Lt. Gen. Natonski was an Observer to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. During this tour the UN Peacekeepers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1988. He was present in the Pentagon on 9/11.

    As a Brigadier General, Natonski assumed command of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade. During the invasion of Iraq, 2nd MEB was redesignated as Task Force Tarawa. They participated in the Battle of An Nasiriyah and supported the subsequent rescue of Jessica Lynch. Major General Natonski assumed command of the 1st Marine Division. While in Iraq, he led the ground assault during the second Battle of Fallujah and ran security operations in the Al Anbar Province during the Iraqi National Elections in January 2005. LtGen. Natonski, was assigned as the Deputy Commandant, for PP&O and in August 2008, he assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command. On Sept. 8, 2010, he retired from the Marine Corps after more than 37 years of service.

    Since retiring from the Armed Forces, he has served as a Senior Mentor for the Marine Corps, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses, an Adjunct Professor for John Hopkins University and the United States Strategic Leadership Center, a Defense Consultant, a member of the Board of Governors for Ave Maria School of Law and on the Advisory Board at JINSA. is a member of JINSA's Board of Advisors, and has served on JINSA's 2014 Gaza Task Force and currently on JINSA's Hybrid Warfare Task Force.

  • General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.), former Deputy Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM) - General Charles Wald is a proven leader who specializes in global military strategy and development. As EUCOM Deputy Commander he was responsible for developing the air campaign in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Gen. Wald has also served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at USAF Headquarters, Chief of USAF Combat Terrorism Center, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations at the Pentagon. In 35 years as a USAF command pilot, Gen. Wald accumulated more than 3,600 flying hours and 430 combat hours.

Senior Advisors:

  • Lieutenant General David Deptula, USAF (ret.), former Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force Headquarters - Lt. Gen. David Deptula is a world-recognized expert in conceptualizing, planning, and executing military operations from humanitarian relief to major combat operations. He served as the principal planner for the air campaigns in Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom, and was twice a Combined/Joint Task Force Commander. During his 34 years of service, Gen. Deptula piloted more than 3,000 flying hours and 400 combat hours. He is a member of the 2013 class of JINSA Generals and Admirals Trip participants, and has been published regularly in the Wall Street Journal and multiple defense publications.

  • The Honorable Stephen Rademaker, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation - The Hon. Stephen Rademaker has over 20 years’ experience working on national security issues in multiple branches of government. As Assistant Secretary of State he led multiple bureaus at the State Department, and also directed the Proliferation Security Initiative and nonproliferation policy toward Iran and North Korea. During this time he also headed U.S. delegations to the 2005 Review Conference of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On Capitol Hill, Rademaker served as Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and as Deputy Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He also held several positions in the George H. W. Bush Administration, including Deputy Legal Advisor to the National Security Council.

  • John Hannah, former National Security Advisor to the Vice President - John Hannah served in senior foreign policy positions for both Democratic and Republican administrations over the last 20 years. He is currently a Senior Counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he focuses on U.S. strategy. From 2005-2009, he was chief foreign policy advisor in Vice President Dick Cheney’s Office of National Security Affairs, after serving as Deputy National Security Advisor for the Middle East for the Vice President from 2001-2005. Mr. Hannah also served as a senior advisor and speechwriter for Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the Clinton administration, and was a senior member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff under George H.W. Bush.

  • Larry Goldstein, Founder of Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc. - Larry Goldstein is an internationally-recognized leader in the petroleum industry with experience testifying before both congressional committees and regulatory bodies. He is an expert on developments in domestic and international petroleum markets and has been appointed to the National Petroleum Council, an oil and natural gas advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy. Mr. Goldstein is credited with co-creating the concept of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve with Mr. John Lichtblau, former Chairman of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation. Mr. Goldstein is currently a trustee for the Energy Policy Research Foundation and serves as their Director of Special Projects. He was also a founder and President of PIRA Energy Group, a consulting firm retained by nearly 500 companies.

  • Professor Geoffrey Corn, former Army senior law of war expert in the Office of the Judge Advocate General and Chief of the Law of War Branch in the International Law Division - Professor Corn spent 21 years on active duty, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His military career included service as a tactical intelligence officer in Panama, Chief Prosecutor for the 101st Airborne Division, Chief of International Law for United States Army Europe, and Regional Defense Counsel for the Western United States, and as a Professor of International and National Security Law at the Army JAG School. Professor Corn is currently a Presidential Research Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston where he also serves as the faculty adviser to the National Security Law Society. He has been an expert witness at the Military Commission in Guantanamo, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and in federal court. Professor Corn is the lead author of The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Perspective, The Laws of War and the War on Terror, and National Security Law: Principles and Policy.

Visiting IDF Military Fellow:

  • General Ram Yavne has served in the IDF for 32 years. He served as the Head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff (J5) from 2015-2018. In this role, he was responsible for the IDF's strategic planning and policy formulation, military diplomacy and international cooperation. He previously also served as the head of the Regional Strategy Department, the senior intelligence officer in the IDF's Northern Command, and in other key intelligence positions.

    In his last assignments, General Yavne dealt with politico-military issues concerning the different Middle East arenas inside the IDF, and participated in discussions with regional and international players, at the military, intelligence communities, foreign affairs, and NSC levels.

    Brigadier General Yavne holds a Master's degree in Political Science and Bachelor's degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and History from Haifa University, and he is a graduate of both the IDF Staff & Command College and the Israel National Defense College. He also received training under the auspices of the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

Associate Fellow:

  • Abe Katsman

Policy Advisor:

  • Svante E. Cornell, expert on Turkey, Azerbaijan and the Caucasus - Svante E. Cornell is the Director of the American Foreign Policy Council's Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and a co-founder of the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. His main areas of expertise are security issues, state-building, and transnational crime in Southwest and Central Asia, with a specific focus on the Caucasus and Turkey. He is the Editor of CACI's Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst and Turkey Analyst, the Center's electronic publications, and of its Silk Road Papers series of occasional papers.

    Cornell is the author of four books, including Small Nations and Great Powers, the first comprehensive study of the post-Soviet conflicts in the Caucasus, and Azerbaijan since Independence. Cornell is Senior Fellow for Eurasia at the American Foreign Policy Council. He was educated at the Middle East Technical University, received his Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, and holds an honorary degree from the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. He is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Military Science, and a Research Associate with the W. Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels. Formerly, Cornell served as Associate Professor of Government at Uppsala University and Associate Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS.

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