May 9, 2022

Strategic Change in Special Operations

Discussion Panel 1

Technology and Attribution: Operational Secrecy in Today's Information Environment

  • Professor Ted Wittenstein

    Edward (“Ted”) Wittenstein is a lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the Executive Director of International Security Studies, a new research hub at Jackson dedicated to international history, grand strategy, and global security. Ted also serves as Executive Director of Yale’s Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy, a foreign policy studies program founded upon the donation of Henry Kissinger’s papers to Yale. A lecturer in Global Affairs and visiting faculty fellow at Yale Law School’s Center for Global Legal Challenges, Ted teaches undergraduate, graduate, and law courses on intelligence, cybersecurity, and national security decision-making.

    Ted is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. Prior to returning to work for Yale, he held a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of Defense, Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of State.

Discussion Panel 2

Private Military Contractors: Encountering Privatization in Irregular Warfare

  • Mr. Phil Kaplan

    Phil Kaplan currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. During the spring 2022 semester, he was a lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs where he focused on counterterrorism, special operations, and national security decision-making.

    Mr. Kaplan previously served as an airborne Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq and Syria in support of a Special Operations Joint Task Force focused on counterterrorism. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and earned a JD from Yale Law School before clerking for the Hon. José A. Cabranes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Discussion Panel 3

Strategic Change in Special Operations

  • COL Sara Dudley

    Colonel Sara Dudley was born in Indianapolis, IN and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the United States Military Academy. She also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University, Masters in Financial Integrity from Case Western Reserve Law School, and a Crypto-currency Certification from MIT. Sara was commissioned in 1998 as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Finance Corps.

    COL Dudley’s military education and training includes the US Army Finance Officer Basic and Advance Courses, the Combined Arms Staff Service School, the Army Cost Management Certification Course, a Command and General Staff Course Interagency Fellowship at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), an Army War College Fellowship at Yale University and the Joint Professional Military Education Course at the Joint Forces Staff College. She is honored to have served and learned invaluable lessons in a variety of leadership and staff assignments across international banking, financial management and comptroller functions. Her academic and professional interest reside in broadening the capabilities provided by the Department of Defense to the US government threat finance arena. Her exploration and testing the addition of US Army finance professionals into the military intelligence apparatus netted an amplification of analysis. This positive result encouraged the US Army to invest in exploring this threat finance capability from within the Finance and Comptroller specialty.

    She currently serves as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Chief of Staff. Prior to her being the USASOC Chief of Staff, COL Dudley held the position as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller for USASOC. Prior to USASOC, she held the position of the Threat Finance Officer in the Joint Special Operations Command Intelligence Directorate (J2) upon completion of her War College Fellowship. Immediately preceding that assignment, she served as the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve J8 (Comptroller) in Baghdad, Iraq and Division G8 (Comptroller), 1st Infantry Division. Additionally, she served as the Deputy, Current Operations Funding Manager (Operations and Maintenance, Army) in the Army Budget Office, Pentagon; XO to the 3-Star Director of Strategic Operations and Plans, NCTC; DoD CT Portfolio Manager and author of the Presidents’ Counterterrorism Budget Report, Directorate of Strategic Operations and Plans, NCTC; Chief of Special Funding and Finance Commander, Joint Special Operations Command; Economics and Financial Accounting Instructor, United States Military Academy; Finance Commander and Battalion Operations Officer, 101st Soldier Support Battalion (SSB), 101st ABN DIV(AA); TF 101SSB Commander, TF Rakkasan, Kandahar, Afghanistan; and XO, Disbursing Officer and Commander B-Detachment, 176th FN BN in Camp Humphreys, Korea.