Prof. Long is an outstanding professor. His classes have a good balance between historical background, concepts, and current operational matters. I doubt there is another professor at the university that has as much insight into counterinsurgency, special operations, and the current US wars as Prof. Long (he spends his breaks in Iraq and Afghanistan conducting research). Prof. Long has a very pragmatic style and isn't dogmatic about anything he teaches. During the classes he will encourage discussion and provide opportunity for students to provide opinions from across the spectrum. He looks like a hard charger but actually maintains a pretty balanced class environment. We had both peace activists and former special operations guys in the class, and the environment was always fair and open to all students. His teaching style is pretty casual, but the readings are well selected and he certainly provides a scientific base for his theories. Prof. Long's classes are among the most interesting I've taken at Columbia.