James Howcroft

James Howcroft retired from active duty as a Colonel after 30 years of service as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He served in a wide range of Marine Corps tactical and operational intelligence billets, from Infantry Battalion up to the Marine Expeditionary Force level.

His combat tours include service with the 2nd Marine Division in Operation Desert Storm and service as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (G2) with both the 1st Marine Division and then the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq. While in the Marine Corps, Colonel Howcroft also served as a Marine Corps Foreign Area Officer with several tours of duty as a military attaché at the American Embassies in Moscow, Russia and Tbilisi, Georgia. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V”, and the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”.   

For the five years prior to joining the Marshall Center, Mr Howcroft served as a Course Director in the United States European and Africa Commands’ Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility at RAF Molesworth in the United Kingdom.  While at Molesworth, he taught intelligence collection and analysis to thousands of US, European and African partners engaged in Counter Terrorist, Counterinsurgency and Peace Support Operations around the world.

Mr Howcroft’s professional education includes a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the US Defense Intelligence College. He is also a graduate of the US Army Russian Institute and Duke University.

Mr Howcroft has written a number of articles on intelligence and operational cultural issues and is a frequent contributor to Small Wars Journal.   

James Howcroft currently serves as the Director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies’ Program in Terrorism and Security Studies.

The conflict between Georgia and Russia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia provide a number of valuable and relevant lessons for international organizations and the international community.

Military operations in an urban area are not normally thought of as a “Small Wars” concern, yet they are an important capability that will remain relevant.

The ability of Americans and partners to coordinate and cooperate will greatly influence how successful we are at addressing the international security threats of the 21st Century.

While we pay lip service to ‘partnership’, the US military is still used to being the dominant player. This  ‘reality’ is changing. 

The trajectory of developments holds value as a guide to the challenges of the next decade and the education and training needed to meet them.

Intelligence shortcomings lie in how we share and utilize the information and data we have at our disposal.