Dr. Robert M. Farley

455 Patterson Office Tower

Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506






Ph.D. thesis, Transnational Determinants of Military Doctrine. Jonathan Mercer (Chair), Elizabeth Kier, David Bachman, Mary Callahan. 


               Ph.D. University of Washington, Political Science. 2004.

               M.A. University of Washington. Political Science. 1999.

               B.S. University of Oregon. Political Science Major, History Minor. 1997.

Academic Positions

Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, August 2006-present.



Grounded: The Case For Abolishing the United States Air Force, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2014

Ships of State: Battleships from HMS Victoria to RFS Pyotr Velikiy, (book manuscript), under contract at Wildside Press, expected autumn 2015

Patents for Power: Intellectual Property and Military Diffusion, with Davida Isaacs, (book manuscript), under contract at University of Chicago Press, expected autumn 2016

Journal Articles

“Complicating the Political Scientist as Blogger.” PS: Political Science and Politics, 46:2 (April 2013), pp. 383-386

”Fighting Piracy: Experiences in Southeast Asia and Off the Horn of Africa.”  With Yoav Gortzak, Journal of Strategic Security 2:1 (February 2009)

“Privilege Wise and Patent (and Trade Secret) Foolish.” With Davida Isaacs, Berkeley Technology Law Journal 24:773 (2009)

Book Chapters

Building the PLAN: History and Origins of the Modern Chinese Navy, in Donovan C. Chau, and Thomas M. Kane, eds. China and International Security: History, Strategy, and 21st Century Policy. 3 vols. Santa Barbara, CA : Praeger, 2014.

The Responsibilities of Hegemony: U.S. Naval Doctrine and Piracy in Southeast Asia (reproduction). With Yoav Gortzak, in At Issue: Piracy on the High Seas, vol. 1 pp. 25-27, 31-332. Belmont, CA: Gale. 2009

Privilege Wise and Patent (and Trade Secret) Foolish (reproduction). With Davida Isaacs, in M N Bhavani ed. Evidence Law and State Secrets. 161-199. Hyderabad: Amicus Books, Icfai University Press. 2009

Works in Progress        

Rise of the Gator: The Amphibious Warfare Vessel in Historical Perspective (working paper)

Culture and Military Diffusion: The Creation of the Afghan National Army, with Rebecca Miller (working paper)


               Over the Horizon (weekly), World Politics Review, 10/10-3/12

               Busting the Myths (bi-monthly), Warships: International Fleet Review, 1/10-present

               Flashpoints (weekly), The Diplomat, 9/12-present         

Op-Ed and Policy Oriented Articles

An Air Force Strategy Stuck in the Future, September 2, 2014, Real Clear Defense

Opinion: Abolish the Air Force, July 31, 2014, Aviation Week and Space Technology

               Asia’s Greatest Fear: A US-China War, June 9, 2014, The National Interest

Why Are We So Afraid of Small Carriers? June 9, 2014, Real Clear Defense

The Real Problem with the U.S. Air Force, January 27, 2014, The National Interest

What to Make of the National Security State, January 7, 2014, The National Interest

Will the F-35 Dominate the Skies? December 26, 2013, The National Interest

Ground the Air Force? Revising the Future of Flight, December 18, 2013, Foreign Affairs

Don’t Mistake U.S. Hesitancy Over Syria for Weakness, October 21, 2013, Global Times

North Korea and the Fallacy of Accidental Wars, April 5, 2013, The Diplomat

History Lesson: The Battle of Java Sea, March 8, 2013, The Diplomat

Hillary Clinton Likely to be Democratic Favorite in 2016, November 5, 2012, Global Times

European Powers No Longer Have Role Across Pacific, August 14, 2012, Global Times

Militants Pose Corrosive Threat Across Afghan Border, August 7, 2012, Global Times

The Hardliners Have Romney’s Ear, July 2, 2012, Right Web

Stormy Waters Ahead for U.S. Navy. Warships: International Fleet Review, May 2012, p. 7

Clinton Embraces the Navy, April 12, 2012, Foreign Policy

Not the End of the World As We Know It: Nuclear-Armed Iran and the Mid-East Balance of Power, November 10, 2011, Yale Journal of International Affairs

The China Divide and the Future of the GOP, November 8, 2011, Right Web

Teaching COIN to a (Mostly) Non-Practitioner Audience, August 26, 2011, Small Wars Journal

How to Negotiate with North Korea, November 24, 2010, The American Prospect Online

For Whom Does the Bell Toll? Anxiety over UK Defence Cuts in USA. Warships: International Fleet Review, November 2010, p. 3

The Future of US Naval Power, September 14, 2010, World Politics Review

The Civilian Control Trap, August 5, 2010, Right Web

The Nuclear Posture Attack. June 2, 2010, Right Web

Goldilocks Approach to Cheonan Incident. With William Ruger, May 18, 2010, Korea Times

The Stark Reality of Defense Contracting. With Davida Isaacs, May 10, 2010, The American Prospect Online

American Defence Lacks Reality that UK May One Day Pay For. Warships: International Fleet Review, May 2010, p.21-22

Why did the Nuclear Posture Review Bomb? April 8, 2010, The American Prospect Online

Russia Joins the “Amphib” Club with the French Mistral Deal April 8, 2010, World Politics Review

Which Maritime Nation is Most Sea Blind: UK, USA, or Oz?, Warships: International Fleet Review, April 2010 p. 27

South Korean Ship in Troubled Waters, March 26, 2010, Guardian Comment is Free

Putting India on the Atlantic. Pragati: The Indian National Interest Review, March 2010 p. 5-9

An End to the “Long War”, February 3, 2010 The American Prospect Online

The View from the United States. Warships Annual Guide to the Royal Navy, January 2010        

The EMP Threat: Lots of Hype, Little Traction, October 16, 2009, Right Web

US on Target with Missile Decision, September 17, 2009, Guardian Comment is Free

Bill Clinton’s New Role August 10, 2009, Guardian Comment is Free

What if Iran Got the Bomb? July 7, 2009, Foreign Policy

How do you Solve a Problem Like Korea. May 27, 2009, Guardian Comment is Free

Star Wars in the Toilet, April 1, 2009, Guardian Comment is Free

Rebooting US-Russia Relations. March 4, 2009, Guardian Comment is Free

Europe vs. the Pirates. With Yoav Gortzak, December 3, 2008, Foreign Policy

Project for a New Cold War. December 1, 2008, Guardian Comment is Free

Somali Piracy is Everyone’s Problem. November 20, 2008, Guardian Comment is Free

Russia Fires Obama A Dilemma. November 18, 2008, Guardian Comment is Free

Constant Vigilance: The Israeli Sea Corps.  Warships: International Fleet Review, November 2008

But What Does it Mean for NATO? August 15, 2008, The American Prospect Online

Roundtable: What’s the Air Force For? November 1, 2007, The American Prospect Online

Abolish the Air Force. The American Prospect, November 2007  

The False Decline of the United States Navy. October 23, 2007, The American Prospect Online

What the New US-Russia Fight is Really About. June 7, 2007, The American Prospect Online

Apocalypse How? January 31, 2007, The American Prospect Online

Still the Right War. October 27, 2006, The American Prospect Online

Book Reviews

The China Choice, H-Net Reviews, February 2014

China’s Search for Security (translation-reproduction), Review of Global Politics 42 (April 2013): 145-148.

China’s Search for Security, H-Net Reviews, April 2013

Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money (book review) Pragati: The Indian National Interest Review 33 (December 2009): 31-32

Generals in the Cabinet Room.  Armed Forces & Society 35 (2009): 762-764.

Party of Defeat, September 26, 2008, FrontPage Magazine

On War and Politics (book review, Utility of Force). July 13, 2007, The American Prospect Online

Disaster by Design (book review, Imperial Life in the Emerald City). January 18, 2007, The American Prospect Online

Internet Activity

Founder, editor, contributor, Lawyers, Guns and Money, 5/2004-present.

               Contributor, TAPPED: Group Blog of the American Prospect, 9/2006-7/2009

               Contributor, Bloggingheads.tv, 1/2008-present.

               Host, editor, Foreign Entanglements (Bloggingheads.tv), 1/12-present      

Contributor, Progressive Realist, 1/2009-present

               Contributor, Information Dissemination, 8/2009-present

               Contributor, The National Interest, 12/2013-present

               Contributor, War is Boring, 11/2013-8/2014


               American Political Science Association, 2013 (Chicago, IL), Presenter, Discussant

               International Studies Association 2012 (San Francisco, CA), Presenter

American Political Science Association, 2012 (New Orleans, LA; cancelled) Panel Chair, Presenter, Discussant

               International Studies Association 2011 (Montreal, QC), Panelist

American Political Science Association, 2011 (Seattle, WA), Panel Chair

               International Studies Association 2010 (New Orleans, LA), Presenter

               International Studies Association 2009 (New York, NY), Presenter, Discussant

Southern Political Science Association 2008 (New Orleans, LA), Presenter, Discussant

International Studies Association 2008 (San Francisco, CA), Presenter

               International Studies Association 2007 (Chicago, IL), Presenter

               International Studies Association 2006 (San Diego, CA), Presenter, Discussant


               2009 New Ideas Fund, National Security Network ($9500)


2005-2006 Post Doctoral Scholar, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky.

2002-2003 Freeman Fellowship, Freeman Undergraduate Asian Studies Project, University of Washington.

Invited Talks

The Future of Airpower, November 21, 2013, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York

Keynote, Kentucky Political Science Association, March 2, 2012, Campbellsville, Kentucky

Strategy and Liberty in Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, Liberty Fund, February 17-20, 2011, San Antonio, Texas

Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, February 23, 2010, Montgomery, Alabama

Maritime Strategy Project, December 11-15, 2006, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island

White Team Exercise, October 12, 2006, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island


Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Academic Fellowship on Terrorism, June 9-June 20, 2008, Tel Aviv, Israel

Offense-Defense Theory, Retrospectives and Future Directions, September 21-22, 2000, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Summer Workshop on Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy, July 9-28, 2000, Institute for War and Peace Studies, Columbia University, New York, New York

Professional Service

               University of Kentucky:

               Patterson School Graduate Admissions Committee, 2006-2013

               Boren Fellowship Committee, 2012-13

               International Affairs Council Curriculum Committee, 2010-13


               Member, Editorial Advisory Board (internet), International Studies Quarterly


Wikistrat (senior analyst), 7/11-present


International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Security, Politics and Policy, Grawnmeyer Award, Choice Magazine, Routledge, Potomac, University of Chicago Press, University Press of Kentucky


Courses (selected):

Diplomacy 742, National Security Policy, Autumn 2014

Diplomacy 600, Europe: Institutions and Foreign Policy, Autumn 2014

Diplomacy 777, Patterson Cornerstone, Autumn 2014

Diplomacy 600, Airpower, Spring 2014

Diplomacy 750, Defense Statecraft, Spring 2014

Diplomacy 600, Seapower, Spring 2013

Diplomacy 600, Counter-Insurgency, Spring 2011

Diplomacy 600, Statecraft and the State, Spring 2010

Diplomacy 600, History of Strategic Thought, Spring 2009

Diplomacy 600, European Security, Spring 2008

Diplomacy 600, East Asian Security, Spring 2007

Political Science 428, Military Intervention, Summer 2005

Political Science 419, US-China Foreign Relations, Spring 2005

Political Science 321, American Foreign Policy, Winter 2005

Political Science 324, Europe in World Politics, Winter 2005

Political Science 426, World Politics, Summer 2004

Political Science 407, International Conflict, Summer 2002       

Teaching Fields:

International Relations (Jonathan Mercer), Political Theory (Mika Lavaque-Manty), China (David Bachman).

Professional Affiliations

               American Political Science Association, 1997-present.