Karen Kwiatkowski

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Karen Kwiatkowski is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel and a specialist on the Middle East, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon where she worked from May 2002 through February 2003 in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Near East/South Asia and Special Plans. Since retiring in July of 2003, she has become a noted critic of the U.S. government's involvement in Iraq.



Karen Kwiatkowski retired from the active duty USAF as a Lieutenant Colonel in July of 2003. Her final assignment was as a political-military affairs officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary for Policy, in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Near East South Asia (NESA) Policy directorates.

Kwiatkowski began her military career in 1978. As a second lieutenant, she served at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, providing logistical support to missions along the Chinese and Russian coasts. She served in Spain and Italy, and was then assigned to the National Security Agency, eventually becoming a speechwriter for the agency's director.

After leaving the NSA, she became an an analyst on sub-Saharan Africa policy for the Pentagon. From May, 2002 to February, 2003, she served in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia directorate (NESA).[1]. While at NESA, she wrote a series of anonymous articles, "Insider Notes from the Pentagon", that appeared on the website of David Hackworth.[2]

During Col. Kwiatkowski's time at NESA, she worked the North Africa desk, in the sister office to the Office of Special Plans. Prior to the Office of Secretary of Defense assignment, she served on the Air Force Staff, Operations Directorate at the Pentagon, the staff of the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade, Maryland, and served tours in Alaska, Massachusetts, Spain and Italy.

Col. Kwiatkowski has authored two recent books on African issues, African Crisis Response Initiative: Past Present and Future (US Army Peacekeeping Institute, 2000) and Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa: Challenges and Solutions (Air University Press, 2001) and several papers.

She teaches online classes with the University of Maryland University College and American Public University System, and is an adjunct faculty in Political Science with James Madison University.

Col. Kwiatkowski lives on a small farm in western Virginia with the husband and four children, ages 12, 15, 17 and 19. She is a regular contributor to LewRockwell.com, and has had articles about her work with the Department of Defense published recently in the American Conservative.


Col. Kwiatkowski has an MA in Government from Harvard, and MS in Science Management from the University of Alaska, and has completed both Air Command and Staff College and the Naval War College seminar programs. She also holds a Ph.D. in World Politics from Catholic University of America, with a dissertation on Overt/Covert War in Angola: A Case Study of the Implementation of the Reagan Doctrine.



Karen Kwiatkowski

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External links

  • The Office of the Secretary of Defense - Org. chart shows Kwiatkowski slotted as "Country Director for Central Africa." (no date)
  • The New Pentagon Papers, an article by Kwiatkowski that appeared on Salon.Com
  • Honor Betrayed page on veteransforpeace.org
  • "Conscientious Objector", an article by Kwiatkowski, originally appearing in The American Conservative
  • Attention Foreign Countries! How To Make the US Go Away!, Karen Kwiatkowski, 16 June 2003 apfn.net Message Board.
  • "How War in Africe was planned since years", GlobalFreePress, 6 July 2003. Makes mention of Kwiatkowski.
  • "Former Rumsfeld staffer Karen Kwiatkowski grants very exclusive interview with Michael Corbin on A C", Pressbox.co.uk, 17 July 2003.
  • "Career Officer Does Eye-Opening Stint Inside Pentagon", CommonDreams, 31 July 2003.
  • "Pentagon's inner works deeply flawed", Arizona Daily Star, 4 August 2003. (cache file).
  • "Newly Retired Officer: Pentagon Suffers from "Isolation," "Cliques," and "Groupthink"", VeteransforCommonSense, 5 August 2003. Original story from [3], Beacon Journal (Ohio) and [4], Charlotte Observer, 1 August 2003.
  • "Soldier for Truth," LA Weekly, 20 February 2004 - An interview with Kwiatkowski by Marc Cooper.
  • "Inside the neo-con Pentagon", 18 April 2004, Toronto Star

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