#56 Jones on Governance


During this thought provoking episode, Mr. Bob Jones asserts that governance is a critical and often overlooked source of destabilizing tensions within societies. Simultaneously, governance is the solution for managing irregular warfare. Our discussion centers around a recent article that Bob authored called: “Strategic Influence: Applying the Principles of Unconventional Warfare in Peace.” Bob reviews his framework which helps visualize how governance affects populations (see show notes link or article for the diagram itself). Additionally, we discuss irregular warfare as a continuum which includes revolution-democracy-tyranny, the imperative for the United States to remain as the leader of the international rules-based system, and the critical feedback he has received from various national security stakeholders.

Link to full show notes and resources

Guest Bio: Mr. Robert Jones is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel; a former Deputy District Attorney; a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), and the Senior Strategist at U.S. Special Operations Command.  Currently serving as a member of the SOCOM J5 Donovan Group, Mr. Jones is responsible for leading innovative thinking on the strategic environment and understanding how it impacts factors critical to national security, such as competition, the character of conflict, deterrence and societal stability.

Mr. Robert Jones is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel; a former Deputy District Attorney; and the Senior Strategist at U.S. Special Operations Command.  Currently serving as a member of the SOCOM J5 Donovan Group, Mr. Jones is responsible for leading innovative thinking on the strategic environment and understanding how it impacts factors critical to national security, such as competition, the character of conflict, deterrence and societal stability.

Mr. Jones’s principle focus is on the fundamental human aspects of political conflict. In a rapidly evolving strategic environment, good strategy is rooted in understanding what remains constant and why; while good tactics demands a realistic appreciation for what is different or changed. Successful campaigning demands a fusion of the two. He enjoys “wire brushing” concepts by routinely standing in front of tough audiences.  None of these is tougher than those he faces in his role as a fixture in the Joint Special Operations University’s Enlisted Academy, applying a commonsense perspective to bring our most experienced Special Operators strategic insights they can actually use. This is also the third consecutive year that Mr. Jones has addressed the Air War College class during the Operational Design phase of their curriculum, sharing practical insights gleaned from his experiences.

He has been a featured speaker at Universities as storied as Oxford, St Andrews, Stanford and Harvard; and has led professional development events with operational units across the SOCOM enterprise. Mr. Jones is also a Fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS).

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

For more information, please contact us at communications@information-professionals.org.

Or, connect directly with The Cognitive Crucible podcast host, John Bicknell, on LinkedIn.

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