Core Planning Group

The Core Planning Group is made up of eight active and retired U.S. military officers with extensive experience in military planning involving humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. Members of the group have served in locations as diverse as Bosnia, Sudan, Haiti and Iraq. The Core Planning Group met throughout 2008 to provide input on the design and content of the Annotated Planning Framework and continue to provide active support to the Project.

Kevin Benson

Kevin Benson
    COL (Ret) Kevin Benson (US Army) is a 1977 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He attended the Armor Officer Basic Course, U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the School of Advanced Military Studies. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program as a War College Fellow in 2001. He completed the oral defense of his dissertation in March 2010. Kevin currently works for McNeil Technologies, Inc. as a seminar leader at the U.S. Army University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies. Kevin served the Republic in uniform for 30 years. His last two positions were: the Assistant Chief of Staff, C5 (Plans), Combined Forces Land Component Command and Third US Army from June 2002 to July 2003 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM /Operation COBRA II, where he led the planning effort for the invasion of Iraq and subsequent post-hostilities operations and the Director, School of Advanced Military Studies, SAMS, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the United Nations Medal.

Charles N. Eassa

Col Charles N. Eassa
    COL Charles N. Eassa (US Army) was commissioned in 1986 as a Field Artillery Officer and is currently the Chief of US European Command's Information Operations and Space Division.Col Eassa has recently served as the Deputy Director of the United States Army Information Operations Proponent at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Deputy Chief of Plans and the Corps Information Operations Officer for the US Army’s V Corps in Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany. Prior to this, he was assigned to the US Army’s Battle Command Training Program as an Assistant Operations Officer and an Exercise Control Officer. His previous assignments include: Aide-de-Camp for the Deputy Commanding General, Third US Army; Field Artillery Advisor and Team Chief to the Georgia Army National Guard; and as a Field Artillery Battery Commander. Col. Eassa is a graduate of the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies and the US Army Command and General Staff College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Bernau University, a Masters Degree in Military Arts and Science and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard's John F Kennedy School of Government. His research interests include national security and climate change, the impact of the information environment on military operations, and the evolving nature of warfare.

Scott Feil

Scott Feil
    COL (Ret) Scott Feil (US Army) is an adjunct staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses.  He has served as Executive Director of the Program on the Role of American Military Power, a study group chartered and supported by the Association of the US Army. In this capacity he was co-director of a joint project sponsored by AUSA and the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Post-Conflict Reconstruction, a multi-year study of tasks, organizational comparative advantage, and planning mechanisms for the effective and efficient rebuilding of countries emerging from conflict.  He served 27 years in the United States Army, commanding an armor battalion and brigade and serving in Operation Desert Shield/Storm.  His final assignment was as the Chief, Strategy Division, Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, (J-5), the Joint Staff.  Scott holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a Masters in Political Science from Stanford University and is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College. He completed a Senior Service College Fellowship at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Clint Hinote

Col Clint “Q” Hinote

Col Clint “Q” Hinote (US Air Force) is currently the Commander of the 3rd Fighter Training Wing at Vance Air Force base. His previous assignment was Chief of the Strategy Division in the Central Command Air Forces Combined Air Operations Center, where he served as the lead air strategist and planner for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from July 2006 to August 2007. Lt Col Hinote is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the USAF Weapons School, and the School of Advanced Air and Space Power Studies. He is a senior pilot with over 2400 flying hours, including operational experience the F-16 and F-117.

Michael W. Kometer

Col Michael W. Kometer
    Col Michael W. Kometer (US Air Force) is Professor of Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL. He was commissioned at the Air Force Academy in 1988 and is a senior navigator with approximately 1000 hours-mostly as Electronic Warfare Officer on the AC-130H Spectre Gunship, including combat or combat support missions in Panama, Southwest Asia, and Somalia. Most recently, he served as Strategy Division Chief at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Qatar. Col Kometer holds a Master's degree from Georgia Tech and a PhD from MIT.

Harry Phillips

Harry Phillips

LTC (Ret) Harry Phillips (US Army) is a retired US Army Officer who in the past worked for PKSOI coordinating with Geographic Combatant Commands and USG interagency regarding peacekeeping and stability operations and as a Senior Military Analyst and doctrine writer specializing in interagency coordination associated with governance and rule of law issues. While at PKSOI he participated in a subject matter expert exchange with the Italian Army’s Center of Excellence for Post Conflict Operations; wrote input to NATO’s Allied Joint Publication 3.4.1 Peace Support Operations; and advised on UNDPKO’s Capstone Doctrine for Peacekeeping Operations.  During his twenty-three year career in the Army Mr. Phillips deployed to the Persian Gulf, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Sudan.  Prior to retiring from the Army in October 2006, Mr. Phillips was the desk officer for Sudan at UNDPKO's Military Planning Service. In addition to planning for the deployment of 10,000 UN Peacekeepers to South Sudan in support of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, he also served as an advisor to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa and with AMIS in Darfur. His planning efforts contributed to the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that was mandated by the Security Council in July 2007 under Chapter VII provisions.

Mike Scott

Mike Scott
    Col (Ret) Mike Scott (US Marine Corps) is currently the Director of Strategic Programs at DPRA Inc. located in Washington D.C. Scott joined DPRA after completing a 28+ year career in the Marine Corps retiring at the rank of Colonel. From 2004-2006 he served as Chief of Plans, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. Scott joined EUCOM following a year studying conflict prevention at the Royal College of Defense Studies in London, England (2003). Prior to RCDS, he commanded a Helicopter Squadron and was a lead aviation planner for IMEF during development of U.S. Central Command plans for Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed in July 1991, his squadron became the Aviation Combat Element for Marine Air Ground Task Force 4-90, supporting contingency operations and assisted in the evacuation of Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines as a result of the Mount Pinatubo eruption. Assigned to Presidential Helicopter Squadron One from 1992-1996, Scott served as a White House Liaison Officer and as a Presidential Command Pilot under Presidents George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Acting as “Marine One Advance,” he frequently interacted with senior executive members of the White House, White House Military Office, Secret Service, US Embassies, other Services, and governmental, non-governmental, and international agencies. He is a 1975 graduate from Virginia Tech and holds a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (1991).

Don Thieme

LtCol Don Thieme

LtCol Don Thieme (US Marine Corps) is a career Infantry and Reconnaissance Officer.  He has served extensively in Asia, the Middle East and Europe in billets from Platoon and Company Commander to Regimental Executive Officer and War Plans Chief for all Marine Forces Central and Pacific Command.  He was an Olmsted Scholar at the Jagiellonian University (Poland), and completed both the School of Advanced Warfighting and MIT Seminar XXI programs. He has written, published and lectured at Tufts, United States Military Academy and other venues on military ethics, the lessons of the Holocaust, ethnic relations and broad variety of tactical and operational level issues.  Lieutenant Colonel Thieme next reports to US Embassy London for duty as the Marine Attaché.

Mark Walsh

Colonel Mark R. Walsh

COL (Ret) Mark R. Walsh (US Army) completed his military career as a tenured member of the U.S. Army War College faculty holding the George C. Marshall Chair of Military Studies.  Upon retirement in 1993, he served the United Nations in Somalia, and returned to the War College to help establish the U.S. Army Peacekeeping Institute where he focused on humanitarian affairs.  Subsequently, he participated in a number of international operations in Haiti, Angola, Bosnia, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  In 2003 he again returned to the Army War College to help reorganize the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, concentrating on civil-military relations.  In 2005 he served as the United Nations liaison officer to the United States Government in Washington, DC helping to coordinate the response to the Indian Ocean tsunami crisis.  The following year he represented the United Nations as its senior liaison officer with the Israeli Defense Forces, coordinating humanitarian operations in Southern Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War.  In 2007 he was inducted into the U.S. Army War College Distinguished Fellow Program.  In 2009 he again served as the United Nations senior liaison officer with the Israeli Defense Forces supporting international humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip.  In 2010 he served as the United Nations World Food Programme representative at United States Southern Command to assist the coordination of humanitarian operations after the January 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti.