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James J.F. Forest

James Forest
Dr. James J.F. ForestProfessor
  • CollegeCollege of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • DepartmentSchool of Criminology and Justice Studies
  • Phone(978) 934-4773
  • Fax(978) 934-3077
  • OfficeHealth and Social Sciences Building - 400
  • Profile URLs

Research Interests

International security, terrorism & counterterrorism, national security, military & defense policy, weapons of mass destruction, homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, transnational organized crime

James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies, where he teaches undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree courses on terrorism and counterterrorism, weapons of mass destruction and contemporary security studies. He is also a senior fellow with the Joint Special Operations University, where he holds a security clearance and contributes to the teaching and research needs of the U.S. Special Operations Forces community.

Dr. Forest is the former Director of Terrorism Studies at the United States Military Academy. During his tenure at West Point (2001-2010) he taught courses on international relations, terrorism, counterterrorism, information warfare, comparative politics and sub-Saharan Africa. He also directed a series of research initiatives and education programs for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC). He has served as an expert witness for terrorism-related court cases, and has provided testimony and briefings to committee hearings of the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Forest has published 20 books, including:

  • Essentials of Counterterrorism (Praeger, 2015)
  • Intersections of Crime and Terrorism (Routledge, 2013)
  • Homeland Security and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2013, with R. Howard & J. Moore)
  • The Terrorism Lectures (Nortia Press, 2012; 2nd Edition 2015)
  • Countering the Terrorist Threat of Boko Haram in Nigeria (JSOU Press, 2012)
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2012, with R. Howard)
  • Influence Warfare (Praeger, 2009)
  • Handbook of Defence Politics (Routledge, 2008, with I. Wilson)
  • Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century (Praeger, 2007)
  • Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006)
  • The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes (Praeger, 2005)

Dr. Forest is co-editor of the internationally distributed journal Perspectives on Terrorism, and is a member of the editorial board for several scholarly journals. He has also published dozens of articles in journals such as Terrorism and Political Violence, Contemporary Security Policy, Crime and Delinquency, Perspectives on Terrorism, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Democracy and Security, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Journal of Political Science Education. Dr. Forest has been interviewed by many newspaper, radio and television journalists, and is regularly invited to give speeches and lectures in the U.S. and other countries.


  • Ph D: Higher Education Administration, (1998), Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: An International Study of Faculty Perspectives on Teaching, Research and Assessment
  • MA: International Development Education, (1994), Stanford University - Palo Alto, CA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Social Stratification and Higher Education in Post-Soviet Russia
  • BS: Foreign Service, (1993), Georgetown University - Washington, DC
  • Other: Liberal Arts,, (1991), De Anza College - Cupertino, CA

Awards and Honors

  • Superior Civilian Service Award (2010), Leadership - Department of the Army
  • America's most esteemed terrorism and national security expert (2006), Service, Community - Foreign Policy Magazine
  • Commander's Award for Public Service (2005), Leadership - Department of Army
  • Commander's Award for Civilian Service (2004), Leadership - Department of Army
  • Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (2003), Service, Community - Department of the Army
  • Mary T. Kinnane Award for Excellence in Higher Education (1998), Scholarship/Research - Boston College


  • Forest, J.J. (2015) "A Word of Appreciation for Our External Peer Reviewers," Perspectives on Terrorism 9:6 pp. 167-9
  • Asal, V., Forest, J.J., Nussbaum, B. (2015) "Why do ethnopolitical organisations turn to crime?," Global Crime 16:4 pp. 306-327
  • Forest, J.J. (2015) "Essentials of Counterterrorism," ABC-CLIO
  • Forest, J.J. (2015) "The Terrorism Lectures," Nortia Press 2nd
  • Forest, J.J., Aghara, S. (2015) "Nuclear and Radiological Security: A Manageable Threat ," National Defense Review Quarterly 140 pp. 103-117
  • Forest, James J. F., Howard, Russell D., Moore,, ., Joanne C.,, Howard,Russell D.,, . (2014) "Homeland security and terrorism : readings and interpretations," 2nd
  • Forest, J.J., Schmid, A.P. (2014) "Report of the Jury on the TRI Award Competition for “Best Ph. D. Dissertation on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism completed in 2013”," Perspectives on Terrorism 8:4 pp. 2-4
  • Forest, J.J. (2014) "US Military Deployments to Africa: Lessons from the Hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army," JSOU Press
  • Turbiville, G., Meservey, J., Forest, J.J. (2014) "Countering the al-Shabaab Insurgency in Somalia: Lessons for US Special Operations Forces," Jsou Press
  • Idler, A.I., Forest, J.J. (2014) "Behavioral Patterns among (Violent) Non-State Actors: A Study of Complementary Governance," Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 4:1 pp. Art. 2
  • Forest, J.J. (2013) "Academe: A Profession Like No Other," The Forefront of International Higher Education: A Festschrift in Honor of Philip G. Altbach 42: pp. 35
  • Forest, J.J. (2013) "Intersections of Crime and Terror," Routledge
  • Forest, J.J., Howard, R.D. (2013) "Weapons of mass destruction and terrorism / James J.F. Forest, Russell D. Howard ; forward by Michael Sheehan," New York, NY : McGraw Hill, 2013; 2nd ed
  • Forest, J.J. (2012) "Criminals and terrorists: An introduction to the special issue," Terrorism and Political Violence 24:2 pp. 171-179
  • Forest, J.J. (2012) "Framework for Analyzing the Future Threat of WMD Terrorism," Journal of Strategic Security 5:4 pp. 51
  • Forest, J.J. (2012) "Kidnapping by Terrorist Groups, 1970-2010: Is Ideological Orientation Relevant?," Crime & Delinquency 58:5 pp. 769
  • Felbab-Brown, V., Forest, J.J. (2012) "Nigeria’s Boko Haram attacks are misunderstood as regional Islamist threat," Christian Science Monitor pp. N.PAG
  • Forest, J.J. (2012) "The terrorism lectures a comprehensive collection for students of terrorism, counterterrorism, and national security James J.F. Forest," Santa Ana, CA, Nortia Press, 2012
  • Felbab-Brown, V., Forest, J.J. (2012) "Political Violence and the Illicit Economies of West Africa," Terrorism & Political Violence 24:5 pp. 787-806
  • Forest, J.J. (2012) "Perception Challenges Faced by Al-Qaeda on the Battlefield of Influence Warfare," Perspectives on Terrorism 6:1 pp. 8
  • Forest, J.J. (2010) "Engaging Non-State Actors in Zones of Competing Governance," Journal of Threat Convergence 1:1 pp. 4
  • Forest, J.J. (2009) "Influence warfare : how terrorists and governments fight to shape perceptions in a war of ideas," Westport, Conn. : Praeger Security International, 2009
  • Forest, J.J., Crispin, R. (2009) "AFRICOM: Troubled Infancy, Promising Future," Contemporary Security Policy 30:1 pp. 5-27
  • Forest, J.J. (2009) "Influence Warfare and Modern Terrorism," Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 10:1 pp. 81-89
  • Forest, J.J. (2007) "Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st century : international perspectives," Westport, Conn. : Praeger Security International, 2007
  • Finkelstein, M., Forest, J. (2007) "How Does National Context Shape Academic Work and Careers? The Prospects for Some Empirical Answers," Springer Netherlands pp. 49–60
  • Forest, J.J. (2007) "Terrorism and political Islam : origins, ideologies, and methods : a counterterrorism textbook for the new agent training program of the FBI Academy, Quantico, VA / James J.F. Forest, editor ; foreword by Tom J. Harrington," West Point, N.Y.] : Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, c2007
  • Forest, J.J. (2007) "The Terrorist Attacks of 9/11: A Brief Review of Impact and Response," Integration & Management of Traumatized People After Terrorist Attacks 15:1 pp. 167
  • Forest, J.J. (2006) "Homeland security : protecting America’s targets," Westport, Conn. : Praeger Security International, 2006
  • Forest, J.J., Altbach, P.G. (2006) "International handbook of higher education," Dordrecht : Springer, c2006
  • Forest, J.J., Sousa, M.V. (2006) "Oil and terrorism in the new Gulf : framing U.S. energy and security policies for the Gulf of Guinea / James J. F. Forest and Matthew V. Sousa," Lanham, Md.] : Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Inc., c2006
  • Forest, J.J. (2006) "Teaching terror : strategic and tactical learning in the terrorist world," Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, c2006
  • Forest, J.J. (2006) "The making of a terrorist : recruitment, training, and root causes," Westport, Conn. : Praeger Security International, 2006
  • Forest, J.J. (2005) "Teaching Cultural Perspectives to Future Army Officers at West Point," Journal of Political Science Education 1:1 pp. 61-82
  • Forest, J.J. (2004) "Global Inequalities and International Academic Relations," Conference Papers – American Political Science Association pp. 1-30
  • Forest, J.J. (2004) "Globalization and Public Policy Trends in Higher Education: A Comparative Analysis," Conference Papers – American Political Science Association pp. 1-38
  • Forest, J.J. (2004) "Hegemonic Harvard and omnipersent Oxford: Western Dominance in the Global Organization of Higher Education," Conference Papers – International Studies Association pp. 1-39
  • Forest, J.J. (2002) "Learning Organizations," Connection (0895-6405) 17:2 pp. 31
  • Forest, J.J. (2002) "Globalisation, Universities and Professors," Cambridge Review of International Affairs 15:3 pp. 435-450
  • Forest, J.J. (1998) "University teaching: International perspectives," Routledge

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Center for Security Research and Technologies. (2012), Grant - Vice Provost for Research at UMass Lowell
  • Terrorism in Africa (2010), Grant - Special Operations Command/Joint Special Operations University to research
    Forest, J.J.
  • FBI Counterterrorism Education Program (2006), Grant - Counterterrorism Branch
  • Combating Terrorism Center (2004), Contract - Government
  • Junior Officer Counterterrorism Development (2004), Grant - Deputy Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (J.C. Wilson)
    Forest, J. (Co-Principal), Howard, R. (Co-Principal)
  • South African Educational Partnerships Experience (1997), Grant - Ford Foundation
    Forest, J. (Co-Principal), Donovan, R. (Co-Principal)
  • Incorporating Technology in School-University Academic Partnerships (1996), Grant - Ford Foundation
    Forest, J. (Principal)

Research Currently in Progress

  • Co-Editor, Perspective on Terrorism

    Our peer-reviewed open-source journal is the most internationally read scholarly resource in the field of terrorism studies. URL:
    Forest, J.J.