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2018 Great Decisions: U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

August 30
U.S. Global Engagement and the Military

The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some argue for an “America First” paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas. Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy. Still others envision a restrained U.S. role, involving a more limited military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities? 

Speaker: Frank Schaddelee

Frank retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2007 after serving over 32 years, mostly as a Security Forces officer. Some career highlights include deploying to Saudi Arabia in the very first wave in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM in early August 1990, as well as serving as the operations officer for the Air Force’s first-ever contingency response group, a “first-in” stand-alone unit designed to deploy anywhere in the world within 24 hours.  He also served as the Chief of Force Protection for Headquarters United States Air Forces Europe, and he commanded two squadrons, one at Lackland AFB, Texas, where he was responsible for training all the military working dogs for the four services and the Transportation Security Administration, and one at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, where he was responsible for securing ICBMs.  His final assignment in 2006-2007 had him supporting Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as the Deputy Director of Protection, Multi-National Forces, Iraq, joint staff, where he conducted numerous vulnerability assessments throughout Iraq while also serving as the force protection liaison with the U.S. State Department’s 19 Provincial Reconstruction Teams.  Although probably not helping his career, a key achievement was Frank’s ability to dodge any assignments at the Pentagon.   

Since his retirement from the Air Force, Frank spent almost four years in Afghanistan as a private security contractor, mostly as a senior mentor at the Afghan Ministry of Interior Plans Directorate, and then as the Project Manager for the 600-man security guard force at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

From 2014-2016 Frank was back in Iraq, this time as the Deputy Security Director at Balad Air Base, the home to the Iraqi Air Force’s new F-16 fighter aircraft, where he was responsible for protecting Lockheed Martin contractors and for training Iraqi Security Forces in airbase defense. In June 2014, he was instrumental in the evacuation of contract personnel when an ISIS vanguard approached the base.  However, the Iraqi military security forces he was responsible for training were the first military forces in Iraq not to cut and run.  But after two years on the project, per direction from his domestic supervisor (AKA “wife”), Frank returned home for good.     

Altogether, Frank has spent over 16 years serving in Europe, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.  He has an extensive background in nuclear security, anti-terrorism, force protection and air base defense, as well as working in non-permissive environments.

Totally retired for over two years now, Frank is enjoying life in the Hill Country with his wife and spending time with his two grandsons who live only 16 miles from Spring Branch.      

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