Michael Desch

Michael Desch

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Professor of Political Science,
Director, Notre Dame International Security Center

Office: 407 Decio Faculty Hall
Phone: 574-631-2792
Email: mdesch@nd.edu

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Areas of Expertise

American foreign policy, international relations, international security

Desch is an expert on U.S. foreign and national security policies. His current research focuses on how to bridge the gap between academic research and policymaking. He is the co-author most recently of “Privileged and Confidential: The Secret History of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board” with K. Michael Absher and Roman Popadiuk, and also “Power and Military Effectiveness: The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism,” “When the Third World Matters: Latin America and U.S. Grand Strategy” and “Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment.” Prior to his academic appointments, Desch has served on the staff of a U.S. senator, as an intelligence analyst at the U.S. Department of State and as a national defense analyst at the Congressional research Service.


Notre Dame Professor on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

America and the World: Challenges and Opportunities

International Security Studies: What the Eggheads Can Teach the Generals

Desch offers an expert opinion on Iran’s nuclear capabilities and implications for the United States.

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy


Netanyahu visit snarls domestic politics and international diplomacy
Don’t panic over ISIS
No excuse for Malaysia Airlines ‘mistaken identity’
Remembering D-Day
NSA’s alleged spying on EU ‘not surprising’
Obama may have broken mold of Dems as ‘war wimps’
GOP can’t play national security trump card
Overreacting to threats also advances terrorist objectives
Netanyahu needs to back off, ‘stay out of American domestic politics’
Romney will ‘grasp at straws’ in tonight’s debate
Defections not enough to cause fall of Syrian president
Romney’s challenge? To make Obama look like Carter on foreign policy
Obama’s ‘team of rivals’ signals caution


Scholars explore religion’s role in international relations
Despite presidential prod, Professor comes to ND


Voice of America — Latest Twists Threaten to Bog Down Congress’ Russia Investigation
The Christian Science Monitor — Russia claims ties to Trump campaign: Would it have mattered to voters?
C-SPAN — U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Part 1
The National Interest — No Bigger Question: How Should the U.S. Handle the Rise of China?
Catholic News Service — National security, foreign policy worries a factor in 2016 election
CNBC — Trump’s invitation for Russian espionage is part of a bigger pattern
The Washington Post — The American foreign policy establishment is getting more comfortable with numbers
Foreign Policy — The Case Against Peace
Associated Press — South China Sea: China willing to pay the price of defiance
Sinclair Broadcast Group — Clinton: Trump has ‘no idea what he’d do to stop ISIS’
U.S. News & World Report — America First, or Trump?
The New York Times — Along With President Obama, the 21st Century Visited Cuba
The Christian Science Monitor — For many US Christians, ISIS genocide designation is a big deal
Sinclair Broadcast Group — Stolen radioactive material in Iraq raises specter of ISIS dirty bomb attack
CNN — Boots on the ground? There are people in them
CNBC — Why you shouldn’t panic about North Korea’s H-bomb
Fox News — Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: America’s Shia problem
CNN — Is Putin more realistic on Syria than Obama?
CNN — Does Clinton’s strategy for beating ISIS add up?
The Wall Street Journal — Hillary Clinton Faces Foreign-Policy Challenges
Fox News — Syria: Why we should let Putin put his hand in the hornet’s nest
The Huffington Post — Has The ‘Israel Lobby’ Lost It’s Grip On D.C.?
The Washington Post — Does political science really need a Journal of Super-Important Security Debates?
The Atlantic — A Deal to Unite the Pacific Rim Through Trade
The Christian Science Monitor — Why Obama decided to break campaign pledge on Afghanistan
The Christian Science Monitor — Europe’s migrant crisis: Is the answer for UN to authorize use of force?
The Economist — The quiet American
NPR — Obama Unveils ‘New Approach’ On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course
The Christian Science Monitor — Obama’s call to action at UN: Join us in fight against ‘evil’ Islamic State
Foreign Policy — Put down that broad brush, Steve!: I remain unpersuaded by Saideman’s valiant defense of political science
CNN — Opinion: Nationalists should not be ignored after Scottish poll
NPR — Scotland’s Vote Could Bring Big Changes To England, Wales, N. Ireland
Bloomberg Businessweek — Islamic State Entrenched in Syrian City as Obama Weighs Steps
Christian Science Monitor — Can US defeat Islamic State without help from Assad?
Associated Press — Vital evidence feared withheld by Ukraine’s rebels
The Herald Sun — Vladimir Putin in firing line after the shot that could change the world
CNN — Is MH17 disaster a result of tragic blunder?
Christian Science Monitor — Malaysian plane downing: Will it change course of Ukraine conflict?
The Voice of Russia — ‘Main challenge Obama faces is Germany’s heavy dependence on Russian gas’ – expert
Christian Science Monitor — US, Germany: Russia faces energy sector sanctions if it disrupts Ukraine vote
Al Jazeera — Kerry blames Israel for talks crisis
USA Today — Obama set to meet Ukraine PM as Crimea referendum nears
CNN — Cutting the Army will make it stronger
Associated Press — Obama pushes back against critics of Iran deal
Associated Press — Why spy on allies? Even good friends keep secrets
Reuters — Can Merkel really be surprised the NSA spied on her?
CNN — EU leaders warn U.S. spying scandal may hamper fight against terror
Reuters/Fox/Chicago Tribune — Obama comes out swinging after debate — in swing states
Reuters/CNBC/Chicago Tribune, etc. — Analysis: Obama regains his footing in feisty second debate
Independence.ie — Andy Sullivan: ‘It wasn’t that Romney got worse – Obama got a lot better’
Associated Press — In Nevada, Obama makes play for veteran support
Time Magazine — An Army Apart: The Widening Military-Civilian Gap
CRI — The Beijing Hour 9/23
CRI — The Beijing Hour 9/21
Foreign Policy Magazine — Swim against the tide: Recognize Palestine at the U.N.
USA Today — Clinton stays on message as Egypt evolves
World Politics Review — Over the Horizon: Warning Signs in U.S. Civil-Military Relations
Foreign Policy — Why have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan been so corrosive of civil-military relations?
USA Today — Obama prepares to deliver Oval Office address on Iraq
Christian Science Monitor — Time for Obama to Rethink Afghanistan War Strategy
PBS NewsHour — Political Fallout of McChrystal Ouster Examined
Voice of America — Analysis: Democracies Often At Odds With Military Authority
Public Radio International — Obama’s national security strategy
WSBT Radio — Iran’s Nuclear Desires