Will Atkins is an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, currently teaching American Government and International Security courses at the United States Air Force Academy. He spent the first half of his Air Force career as a C-130 Navigator and Weapons Officer, conducting four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as an aircrew member. Since then, he was designated as an Afghanistan-Pakistan political-military advisor (AFPAK Hand), and spent two additional years in Afghanistan performing these duties. In this capacity, he served as Senior Advisor to the President and National Security Advisor of Afghanistan, assisting with the authorship of Afghanistan’s first National Security Strategy, and was instrumental in securing continued coalition support at NATO’s 2016 Warsaw Summit. While on faculty at the Air Force Academy, he co-edited American Defense Policy (9th edition), while supplying the epilogue to that volume analyzing defense policy resiliency in the face of unexpected events. Other research interests include non-traditional threats (such as pandemics and climate change), and he is currently involved with grant-supported research on extremism in the military. He has also published on the future of the US-Japan alliance in light of Japanese military modernization and constitutional reform efforts.
Will has a wife of 11 years and an 8 year old daughter. The family is also a licensed foster-care family, with a passion for helping children who are experiencing domestic trauma. They have seen first-hand the horrors of the foster care system, and the importance of a thriving Guardian ad Litem program.