Karen is a monthly columnist, appearing in the fourth week of each month.

Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D, is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform in the upper echelons of Pentagon. She shared her story about what went on during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq with the American Conservative Magazine and Salon. She writes regularly for Lewrockwell.com.

Karen U. Kwiatkowski, née Unger, (born September 24, 1960) is an American activist and commentator. She is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and a variety of roles for the National Security Agency. Since retiring, she has become a noted critic of the U.S. government’s involvement in Iraq. Kwiatkowski is primarily known for her insider essays which denounce a corrupting political influence on the course of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In 2012, she challenged incumbent Bob Goodlatte in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 6th congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives and garnered 34% of the Republican vote on a constitutional and limited government platform.

While in the Air Force, she wrote two books about U.S. policy towards Africa: African Crisis Response Initiative: Past Present and Future (US Army Peacekeeping Institute, 2000) and Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa: Challenges and Solutions (Air University Press, 2001). She contributed to Ron Paul: A Life of Ideas, (Variant Press, 2008) and Why Liberty: Personal Journeys Toward Peace and Freedom, (Cobden Press, 2010). She has been featured in a number of documentaries, including “Why We Fight”,[2] in 2005. She has written for LewRockwell.com since 2003.

Born Karen Unger, Kwiatkowski was raised in western North Carolina. She received an MA in Government from Harvard University and an MS in Science Management from the University of Alaska. She has a PhD in World Politics from The Catholic University of America; her thesis was on the overt and covert war in Angola, A Case Study of the Implementation of the Reagan Doctrine.