LTC Brian Drohan

LTC Brian Drohan

Academy Professor

International Division Chief


LTC Brian Drohan is an Academy Professor in the Department of History at West Point. He led an armor platoon in Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division; deployed twice to the U.S. Embassy to Sri Lanka in support of Special Operations Command – Pacific; and served as a strategist at the Eighth Army headquarters in the Republic of Korea. 

LTC Drohan earned BA and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first book - Brutality in an Age of Human Rights: Activism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire (Cornell University Press, 2017) - analyzed the ways in which human rights activists influenced British counterinsurgency warfare during the post-1945 period. 

Ongoing Research Projects

My main interests lie in understanding how the ideas and institutions of the post-1945 international order(s) have influenced, and been influenced by, the use of military power in the contexts of decolonization and the Cold War. Under this broad umbrella, two of my current projects are:

Decolonization, the Cold War, and the origins of UN peacekeeping operations: toward a military history of the United Nations

Counterinsurgency by hunger: “food control” in British colonial counterinsurgency strategy

Publications & Presentations

Brutality in an Age of Human Rights: Activism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017). 

Imjin River 1951: Last Stand of the ‘Glorious Glosters’ (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2018).

Articles and Book Chapters:
“Unintended Consequences: Baton Rounds, Riots, and Counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland, 1970-1981,” Journal of Military History 82, no. 2 (April 2018): 491-514.

  • Awarded 2019 Moncado Prize by the Society for Military History

“From Beersheba to Megiddo: British Deception Operations during the Palestine Campaign, 1917-1918,” Weaving the Tangled Web: Military Deception in Large-Scale Combat Operations, ed. Christopher M. Rein (Leavenworth: Army University Press, 2018), pp. 47-67.

“Roles and Missions of the Armed Services,” Military Strategy, Joint Operations, and Airpower: An Introduction, eds. Ryan Burke, Michael Fowler, and Kevin McCaskey (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018), pp. 194-211.

“Innovating ‘Lawfare’: The Use of Law as a Weapon in Cyprus, 1955-1959,” Paths of Innovation in Warfare: From the Twelfth Century to the Present, ed. Nicholas M. Sambaluk (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018), pp. 193-216. 

“Radical Books: Gangrene, with an introduction by Peter Benenson (1959).” History Workshop Online. January 26, 2018. 

“‘A Litigious Island’: Law, Rights and Counter-insurgency during the Cyprus Emergency,” Decolonization and Conflict: Colonial Comparisons and Legacies, eds. Martin Thomas and Gareth Curless (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), pp. 99-114.

“A Study in Contradictions: Human Rights and British Counterinsurgency in Aden, 1962-1964,” Small Wars Journal 11, no. 1 (2015).  

“Defying Decolonization: Anticolonial Nationalism and the Greek-Cypriot Liberation Movement.” Imperial and Global Forum (blog), Centre for Imperial and Global History, University of Exeter. October 6, 2014.…;

“Carl von Clausewitz, his Trinity, and the 1812 Russian Campaign,” Journal of Slavic Military Studies 19, no. 3 (2006): 515-42.

“An Integrated Approach: British Political-Military Strategy in the Malayan Emergency,” Armor: The Professional Development Bulletin of the Armor Branch CXV, no. 1 (2006): 34-8.