Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins


Matthew Atkins, representing the US Air Force, was a national security affairs fellow for the academic year 2013-14 at the Hoover Institution.

Atkins earned his undergraduate degree in economics and Russian from the University of Virginia; he holds a master’s degree in information resource management from Central Michigan University and a master’s in national security studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. As an intelligence officer, he has spent the majority of his career in special operations and intelligence collection; he also commanded an airborne intelligence squadron. He has completed ten combat tours since 9/11, including six tours in Afghanistan, most recently as the director of intelligence for all special operations units in that country. His experience includes time on the Joint Staff, serving overseas with joint units, flying on special operations aircraft, and working for several national intelligence agencies.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

New Program To Help ISR Aircrews Cope With PTSD

by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkinsvia Air Force Special Operations Command
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The nature of modern-day warfare has shifted the burden to the finders of targets, the intelligence and special operations personnel who identify the targets that need to be eliminated.

Tehran, Iran
Analysis and Commentary

Want To Improve Ties With Iran? Ship It FedEx

by Colonel Eric Shirley, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkinsvia Real Clear Markets
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As nuclear non-proliferation talks drag on between Iran and the rest of the international community, many observers remain unconvinced about any real tangible benefit. However, the recent downward trend in relations with Russia, and a strained relationship with Pakistan, may provide a novel opportunity for us to reach a deal with Iran that will not only prove economically beneficial to U.S. taxpayers, but that could also lay the groundwork for friendlier dealings between the U.S. and Iran overall.

Smartphone Image
Analysis and Commentary

Crowdsourcing Intelligence-Putting Smart Phones to Good Use

by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkinsvia Just Security
Thursday, May 15, 2014
CIA Headquarters
Analysis and Commentary

Snowden Disclosures Hurt Intelligence Agencies' Recruitment

by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Atkins, Marshall Erwinvia San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, April 25, 2014

The Edward Snowden disclosures of National Security Agency surveillance certainly have awakened concerns in a portion of our country that feels strongly about the protection of civil liberties. Snowden's disclosures seem to have created a perception that the values of the intelligence community are not American values, that its activity is inconsistent with our ideals.