Michael K. Nagata retired from the US Army in 2019 after 38 years of Active Duty, with 34 years in US Special Operations. His final position was Director of Strategy for the National Counterterrorism Center from 2016 to 2019.
After graduating from the National War College in 2003, he served for 2 years in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. From 2005 to 2008, as a Special Mission Unit commander, he led multiple Joint SOF task forces across more than a dozen countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
He then served within the US Intelligence Community in Washington D.C. as a Military Deputy for Counterterrorism until 2009. He then deployed again until late 2011 to Pakistan as the Deputy Chief, Office of the Defense Representative at the US Embassy there. Upon returning to the US, he served on the Joint Staff as the Deputy Director for Special Operations and Counterterrorism until 2013.
Nagata then assumed command of US Special Operations Command-Central, and was responsible for Special Operations across the Central Command region from 2013 to 2015, and was heavily involved in the first two years of combat operations against the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
Georgia State University
National War College
Issues of Expertise
US Military, Defense & security policy/strategy formulation, Counterterrorism
Regions of Expertise
Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, East Africa