Peter Mansoor

Peter Mansoor

Peter Mansoor

Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History


214 Dulles Hall
230 Annie & John Glenn Avenue
Columbus, OH

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  • M.S.S., Strategic Studies, Army War College (2003)
  • Ph.D., Military History, The Ohio State University (1995)
  • M.A., Military History, The Ohio State University (1992)
  • B.S., U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. (1982)


Col. Peter Mansoor, U.S. Army (Retired), is the Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University, a joint appointment between the Department of History and the Mershon Center. He assumed this position in September 2008 after a 26-year career in the U.S. Army that culminated in his service in Iraq as the executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus, the commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq, during the period of the surge in 2007-08. He has written a history of this experience, Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (Yale University Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the inaugural Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History in 2013.

A 1982 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Mansoor served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East during his military career, including postings with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas; 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Hersfeld and Fulda, Germany; Opposing Forces at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.; and commander of the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry (the "Buffalo Soldiers") and G-3 of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Hood, Texas. He also served on the Joint Staff as the special assistant to the director for strategic plans and policy during a period that included the Bosnian peace support operation, Operation Desert Fox, and the Kosovo conflict.

In the early 1990s Mansoor attended graduate school at Ohio State, after which he taught military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During this period he authored a monograph on the combat performance of U.S. Army infantry divisions in Europe during World War II. The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945 was published by the University Press of Kansas on the 55th anniversary of D-Day and was awarded the Society for Military History distinguished book award and the Army Historical Society distinguished book award in 2000.

Mansoor commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division from 2003 to 2005, including 13 months in combat in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 2003 to July 2004 -- service for which his brigade was awarded a President Unit Citation for collective valor in combat. He has captured the essence of the experience of his brigade’s deployment and the difficulties of the U.S. war in Iraq during the crucial first year of conflict in a personal memoir, Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq, published in September 2008 by Yale University Press. In 2009 the Ohioana Library Association honored the account as its non-fiction book of the year.

After relinquishing command, Mansoor resided at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York as a senior military fellow. He then served as the founding director of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he helped to edit the counterinsurgency field manual, which was used to reshape the conduct of the Iraq War. In Fall 2006 he also served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Council of Colonels that reexamined the strategy for the war in Iraq.

Since coming to Ohio State, Mansoor has also published Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012), edited with Williamson Murray and based on a 2010 Mershon Center conference; Grand Strategy and Military Alliances (Cambridge University Press, 2016), co-edited with Williamson Murray and based on a 2013 Mershon Center conference; and The Culture of Military Organizations (Cambridge University Press, 2019), co-edited with Williamson Murray and based on a 2016 Mershon Center conference.

Mansoor is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Alpha Theta. His research interests include modern U.S. military history, World War II, the Iraq War, and counterinsurgency warfare.

Faculty Links

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page

Media Links

WOSU: Remembering D-Day and World War II (2019)
History Department: Faculty honored at year-end reception (2019)
Undergraduate Research: Mentor Series: Dr. Peter Mansoor (2019)
Mershon Center: Mershon's Peter Mansoor had hand in creation of Columbus museum to honor veterans (2019)
Mershon Center: Mansoor to appear in WOSU Dialogue (2018)
History Department: Peter Mansoor recipient of Denman Research Mentor Award (2018)
Mershon Center: Mansoor, Cabanes win NEH grant for seminar on 'Voice of War' (2018)
Origins: Milestone: The Bataan Death March (2017)
Mershon Center: Ohio Veterans History Project features interview with Mansoor (2017)
History Department: "Now Tora Bora Has Become a Hideout for ISIS Fighters" (2019) 
Mershon Center: Conference to examine effect of organizational culture in military (2017)
History Department: Peter Mansoor Featured in Ohio Veterans Oral History Project (2017)
History Department: The Strategic Realignment Of The United States In The Trump Administration (2017)
Ohio State: Honoring our heroes (2016)
Ohio State: The war that shaped history (2016)
Mershon Center: Mershon, History Department host World War I centennial conference (2016)
Arts and Sciences: Ohio State to Host World War I Symposium (2016)
History Department: Mansoor writes Orlando Sentinel piece on Trump (2016)
Mershon Center: 250 attend debate on foreign policy of Clinton, Trump (2016)
Origins: The War on Terror (2016)
Buckeye Voices: The Evolution of ISIS (2015)
History Department: Establishment of Donald G. and Mary A. Dunn Chair in Military History (2015)
History Department: Mansoor Provides Insight on CNN regarding the U.S. Fight Against ISIS (2015)
Origins: Top Ten Origins: The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) (2014)
Mershon Center: Reddit AMA by Peter Mansoor takes readers behind the surge (2014)
Arts and Sciences: Remembering D-Day: a 70th Anniversary Commemoration (2014)
WOSU: All-Volunteer military: Successes and failures (2014)
Mershon Center: Mansoor's 'Surge' named runner-up at California book festival (2013)
Mershon Center: Mansoor quoted in speech on U.S. House floor (2013)
WOSU: World War II Pacific Tour (2012)
Mershon Center: Ohio State students walk in footsteps of World War II veterans in Pacific (2012)
WOSU video: Military conflict and its role in human history (2011)
Ohio State video: Meet the Experts (2009)
Arts and Sciences: Boots on the Ground in Europe: Ohio State Students Head-out to Explore the War that Changed the World (2013)
Arts and Sciences: Students Take WWII Pacific Trip to Office of the President (2012)
Arts and Sciences: On the sands of Iwo Jima: Hahn and Mansoor lead South Pacific tour (2012)
Arts and Sciences ASCent: On hallowed ground (2012)
History Department: Ohio State's AHS Society receives Chapter of the Year Award (2012)
History Department: Peter Mansoor participates in Supreme Court symposium (2012)
Origins: From Baghdad to Kabul: The Historical Roots of U.S. Counterinsurgency Doctrine (2009)
eHistory: Writer's Talk features Peter Mansoor (2009)

Mershon Projects

The Impact of Military Organizational Culture on Security (2017-18)
World War I Centennial Conference (2016-17)
The Nature of War: American Environments and World War II, with Nicholas Breyfogle (2015-16)
Grand Strategy and Alliances (2012-13)
Hybrid Warfare: The Struggle of Military Forces to Adapt to Complex Opponents (2009-10) 
Military Frontiers: A Graduate Symposium (2008-09)