Donald Abenheim

Donald Abenheim


Donald Abenheim was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution until August 31, 2012 and an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

He is a historian of war and politics in European and US history and a consultant on contemporary defense institution building and international defense education to various Euro-Atlantic defense ministries and defense academies as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He founded the Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR) at the Naval Postgraduate School in 1993 amid NATO’s enlargement.

Abenheim was a national fellow at Hoover in 1988 and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution from 1988 until 2004.

From 1994 until 2000, he organized seminars on NATO’s enlargement of democratic civil-military relations at NATO headquarters and in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Austria, and Georgia for ministries of defense as they made the transition from the Soviet system of civil-military relations.

Prior to his role at CCMR, he was a consultant to the strategic directorates of the army and navy staffs, as well as to the Office of Net Assessment of the US Department of Defense.

He lectures widely in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and has been interviewed by such international media as Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, Die Zeit, and the Los Angeles Times on questions of contemporary policy and strategy. Abenheim is a member of the Clausewitz Society, the professional association of officers of the German general staff. His recent book concerns civil-military relations in the United States and Germany. His forthcoming work on the German armed forces concerns the role of the citizen-soldier in conflict.

Before completing his doctoral studies, he was a civilian staff member of the US Army, Europe, liaising with the German forces on burden sharing; an archivist at the Hoover Institution focusing on Germany in the twentieth century; and a museum curator at the Presidio of San Francisco whose specialty was the US Army with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and military regalia.

He received a PhD degree in European history from Stanford University in 1985.

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Recent Commentary

The Big Bang of NATO Enlargement

by Donald Abenheimvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 2003

NATO is getting bigger—and a good thing, too. By Hoover visiting fellow Donald Abenheim.