William C. Martel

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This article is about the American professor. For the British steward, see William Martel.
William C. Martel
Education B.A. from St. Anselm College, Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst, post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University[1]
Employer The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Notable work(s) Victory in War: Foundations of Modern Military Policy (2007); The Technological Arsenal: Emerging Defense Capabilities (editor & author) (2001)
Title Associate Professor of International Security Studies

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.[1]


He has a B.A. from St. Anselm College, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Massachusetts Amherst.[1] He was also a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University from 1991–93.[1]


Martel was the Director and Founder of the Center for Strategy and Technology from 1993–99, and Associate Professor of International Relations at the Air War College during the same years.[1] From 1999–2005 he was Professor of National Security Affairs, and Chair of Space Technology and Policy Studies, at the Naval War College.[1]

He has served on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (2001–02), and is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Naval War College Review.[1] He has also been the principal investigator on space policy study with research support from MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.[1]


Commenting on the entrepreneurs who in the wake of 9/11 were selling everything from a plastic tent complete with an air-filtration system to keep the whole family safe in the event of a germ attack, to germproof bodysuits and mail sterilizers, he said: "It is just people looking for security, in the face of systemic insecurity."[2]

Speaking in 2006 about targeted killings of high-profile suspects whose capture is typically deemed impossible or too great a risk, he said: "It's a pretty dicey proposition capturing somebody. You can't do a snatch and grab casually." In terms of domestic law, he said: "It is permissible to attack individuals who are heads of [either state or non-state] organizations in combat against the United States.[3] Commenting as well in 2006 on the terrorist National Intelligence Estimates declassified intelligence assessment on terrorism, Martel said that its hedging and passive voice reflected an analysis-by-committee approach that wasn't all that helpful to policymakers.[4] One of its conclusions was that the global jihadist movement is now using the Internet to communicate and to promote its ideology.[4] Martel said: "No kidding! I was stunned at how pedestrian it was."[4]

In 2008, he hailed Bush's announcement that he is cutting the length of new tours in Iraq, saying: "in a war military, you have to cut corners to meet objectives. Progress comes in small doses."[5] The Christian Science Monitor quoted Martel in 2008 saying of al-Qaeda's recruitment of Americans: "It's an immensely adaptive organization", while adding that it could potentially make it more open to penetration by western spies.[6] "It could make it easier for us to understand what they're doing, and why," said Martel.[6]

Speaking of Faisal Shahzad in 2010, he said: “This may suggest we are moving from the ‘A’ team in recruits to the ‘B’ team or even the ‘C’ team."[7]



Select articles[edit]

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Fletcher School – Faculty". Fletcher.tufts.edu. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ Kaufman, Leslie (October 27, 2001). "A NATION CHALLENGED – THE QUICK DOLLAR – Anthrax Brings the Profiteers Out in Force". NYTimes.com. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ Kaplan, Eben (January 25, 2006). "Q&A: Targeted Killings". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c "Iraq and jihad: A consensus surfaces / The Christian Science Monitor". CSMonitor.com. September 28, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Stresses still high on U.S. military". CSMonitor.com. April 11, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Al Qaeda still a threat to U.S., intelligence chiefs say". CSMonitor.com. February 8, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Times Square bomb: Did Pakistan Taliban send its 'C' team?". CSMonitor.com. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 

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