Biography



Dr. Larry M. Wortzel is a leading authority on China and Asia. He has more than 45 years of experience in intelligence, foreign policy, and national security. Dr. Wortzel had a distinguished 32-year military career, retiring as a colonel in 1999. Wortzel’s last Army assignment was professor of Asian Studies and director of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He is the Chairman of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congressionally appointed bi-partisan body.

From 1999-2005 Wortzel was Asian Studies Center director and vice president for foreign policy and defense studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Following three years in the Marine Corps, Wortzel enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1970. His first assignment with the Army Security Agency took him to Thailand, where he focused on Chinese military communications in Vietnam and Laos. Within three years he had graduated Infantry Officer Candidate School, as well as both Airborne and Ranger schools. He is a member of the OCS Hall of Fame.

After serving four years as an infantry officer, Wortzel shifted back to military intelligence, traveling regularly throughout Asia as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Pacific Command from 1978 to 1982. He then attended the National University of Singapore where he studied advanced Chinese and conducted field study in China and Southeast Asia. Wortzel later worked for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, developing counterintelligence programs to protect America from foreign espionage. He also managed programs to gather foreign intelligence for the Army Intelligence and Security Command.

From 1988–1990, Wortzel was Assistant Army Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in China, where he witnessed and reported on the Tiananmen Massacre. After returning to the United States, Wortzel was an Army strategist in the Pentagon and a personnel manager for Army intelligence officers. He returned to China in 1995 for a tour of duty as the Army Attaché in Beijing.

Dr. Wortzel’s books include Class in China: Stratification in a Classless Society (Greenwood Press, 1987); China's Military Modernization: International Implications (Greenwood, 1988); The Chinese Armed Forces in the 21st Century (Carlisle, PA, 1999); and Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History (Greenwood, 1999). He has edited six other books about China and contributed chapters to books on military history, war-fighting doctrine, and strategy. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.

A graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army War College, Wortzel earned his B.A. from Columbus College, Georgia, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii.

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