The Age of Special Warfare project was directed by Tara McKelvey and encompasses original research on U.S. Special Operations. It was first published in January, 2011.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Project academic advisers from the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative included co-directors Timothy J. McNulty and Ellen Shearer, and Josh Meyer, director of education and outreach. Other Northwestern University advisors included Jonathan Caverley, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science; Hendrik Spruyt, a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Science and the director of the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies.

Tara McKelvey in front of a Chinook in Pakistan's Swat Valley

About the author
Tara McKelvey is a Carnegie National Security fellow at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The author of Monstering: Inside America’s Policy on Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War (Basic Books), she is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and has contributed chapters to The Impact of 9/11 and the New Legal Landscape (Palgrave MacMillan) and New Threats to Freedom (Templeton Press), edited by Adam Bellow.


  • Research assistance from Rachel Bruns, Anthony Mastroianni and Emma Myers.
  • Web production by Tanveer Ali and SB Anderson.
  • Additional assistance by Lidia Jean, Julia, and Xander Kott.