In September 2016 Professor Phillips O’Brien joined the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy as the University of St Andrews new chair in Strategic Studies. He was drawn to the job by the chance to work with some of the greatest scholars in the field today, coming from a range of disciplines such as International Relations, History, Management and Biological Studies. He can also happily report that he has found the students who have joined the Institute to be every bit as excellent as the staff. He has taken a leading role in teaching on the new Masters in Strategic Studies and will make that a priority in the coming years.
Professor O’Brien is presently finishing a study of Admiral William D. Leahy, the Chief of Staff to Us Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Leahy is the most understudied and misunderstood of the grand strategy makers of the Second World War and the Cold War. This will be completed in 2017 and then Professor O’Brien will be embarking on a large-scale study of airpower theory and doctrine in the 20th and 21st centuries.