Larry Seaquist

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Larry Seaquist, the veteran of a 32-year career in the Navy (retired 1994), is "the founder and CEO of The Strategy Group, A Global Action Network of Professional Peacebuilders [which focuses] on helping create locally-led conflict prevention and peacebuilding campaigns and encouraging international leaders to recognize that prevention is practical and that peacebuilding is real work."[1]

Seaquist "also conducts applied strategy research projects funded by the Pentagon or private foundations centering on military professionalism, counterproliferation, future warfare, and military modernization. He writes and speaks frequently on military topics such as shifting military strategy towards conflict prevention and on the professional ethics required of military officials in a democracy."[2]

Seaquist's "early career was entirely at sea. ... [In 1978, after] a two-year tour in command and pro-motion to Commander, he led the combat readiness staff on the Pacific surface force where he designed and implemented a radical overhaul of the fleet combat systems training architecture. ... In 1981 he returned to sea for two years in command of USS David R Ray (DD 971), a new Spruance-class destroyer which operated in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific before being refitted in Seattle, Washington. ... Promoted early to Captain and back in the Pentagon, he led Navy's Strategic Concepts Group, a hand-picked team of young strategists, where he helped shape maritime strategy during what was later called a renaissance in strategic thinking. During this tour of duty he also played a key role in devising an innovative form of war-prevention measures which could be pre-positioned to interrupt grave international crises and preclude major wars and nuclear exchanges."[3]

"In 1986 he returned to sea in command of battleship USS Iowa (BB 61), recently modernized and recommissioned after service in WWII and the Korean War. ... In 1988, Captain Seaquist returned to the Pentagon as the Assistant Director of Strategy and Policy in the Joint Staff (J-5) where he oversaw the development of all U.S. military strategic plans including nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare defense planning and helped set in motion radically different planning mechanisms to enable the U.S. military to adjust to rapid changes in the international security climate."[4]

"In 1989, he was asked to join the Office of the Secretary of Defense in order to help create a group of new security policy and resource oversight organizations. As the Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy he helped orchestrate a series of top-level strategy reviews which radically altered U.S. national security policy as the Cold War came to an end and the U.S. recognized that a 'revolution in military affairs' required that military forces and operations be transformed. He helped direct both the strategy for and the history of the Gulf War, he directed the multi-million dollar annual strategy research program, and he conceived and implemented the strategy of 'counterproliferation' to modernize American responses to the growing international problem of nuclear, chemical, and biological capability proliferation. Throughout this period he worked closely with senior officers from each of the military services and with senior officials from the White House, State Department, and Congress. He spoke frequently to citizen's groups on military policy and security strategy issues. In 1990 he served for nearly a year as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning responsible for directing the work of a large staff of specialized policy and regional affairs analysts and research projects. From time to time he also served briefly as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense."[5]

"Captain Seaquist completed his career in the Office of Net Assessment, a famed in-house think tank in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon, where he examined the changing nature of conflict and created new wargaming methods in order to engage the non-military organizations of the international community in new forms of military-civilian security strategies. Captain Seaquist has lectured at the National War College, Naval War College, Army War College, and Air War College; he conducted military strategy seminars at Harvard, Stanford University, George Washington, Georgetown, and American universities. He continues to conduct frequent seminars on U.S. security strategy and military policy for military and university audiences. He was recently [in 2001] cited as 'adjunct teacher of the year' by the Foreign Service Institute, the education arm of the U.S. Department of State."[6]

Seaquist "is the author of numerous articles on military strategy and information technology including a major article on the history of naval strategy in the Oxford Companion to American Military History. His recent article 'Community War' published in the US Naval Institute Proceedings outlined the ongoing changes in the nature of conflict and the consequent imperative of developing new conflict prevention and peacebuilding strategies." October 2001.

War in Iraq

  • "'Before the war, the Pentagon and White House made the case over and over that we would be there to be liberators, that we would honor the local culture, restart local life, etc.,' says retired Navy captain and Defense Department strategist Larry Seaquist. 'But it appears that they were actually only prepared to be armed occupiers in a rather benign climate.'" April 16, 2003, Christian Science Monitor

See Operation Iraqi Freedom: Military and Political Dissent.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Board, Greenstar, accessed January 17, 2011.