Ltc. (ret.) Karen U. Kwiatkowski is a retired U.S. Air Force officer whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and various roles for the National Security Agency.

After retiring, she become a noted critic of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. Kwiatkowski is known for her insider essays denouncing a corrupting political influence on military intelligence, especially leading up to the 2003 Iraq. In 2012, she challenged incumbent Bob Goodlatt in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 6th district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

While in the Air Force, she wrote two books, Africa: African Crisis Response Initiative: Past Present and Future (2000) and Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa: Challenges and Solutions (2001). She contributed to Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas (2008) and Why Liberty: Personal Journeys Toward Peace and Freedom (2010). She has been featured in several documentaries, including Why We Fight (2005). She has written for since 2003 and her work has appeared in Salon and The American Conservative. She has an MA in Government from Harvard, an MS in Science Management from the University of Alaska, and a PhD in World Politics from The Catholic University of America; her thesis was titled Angola, A Case Study of the Implementation of the Reagan Doctrine. She is a founding member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Areas of Expertise

  • National Security Intelligence interagency process

  • Iraq Wars – Intelligence case study

  • U.S. policy in Africa

  • National Security Agency operations

Recent News

  • Matthew Hoh: How Weak Is Ukraine Military?
    55%… of the Defense Budget goes to contractors
  • Associate Director Matthew Hoh’s Statement on the Potential Government Shutdown
    As the government shutdown looms, Capt. Matthew Hoh offers a silver lining if Congress fails to meet the most basic constituent needs, as 2022 marks the highest one-year increase in the poverty rate:  “Successive Congresses and White Houses have massively funded the Pentagon and weapons industries. We outspend adversaries, maintain more than 95% of the world’s overseas military bases, and now export more weapons than we do agricultural products. Meanwhile, a failure to invest in healthcare, education, infrastructure and climate change response has weakened the American economy and limited potential growth and progress. The reality of US politicians consistently choosing to fund war over the welfare of the American people is creating a crisis outside of DC much larger than the politically constructed theater playing out in the Capitol.”
  • Matthew Hoh: Zelenskyy’s D.C. Visit
    The United States is cornered because of the decisions of this Administration