Korea Experts Bennett, Han Retire
November 23, 2020
Bruce Bennett (cohort '75), a RAND senior international and defense researcher, and Yong-Sup Han ('88), former vice president and director of the Korean National Defense University (KNDU), both (officially) retired this summer. Their careers were both remarkable.
Bennett was a senior international/defense researcher at RAND ad remains an adjunct researcher. He works primarily on research topics such as strategy, force planning, and counterproliferation within the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center and the RAND Arroyo Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program.
Bennett's work applies wargaming, risk management, deterrence-based strategy, competitive strategies, and military simulation and analysis. He specializes in “asymmetric threats” such as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and how to counter those threats with new strategies, operational concepts, and technologies. He is an expert in Northeast Asian military issues, having visited the region about 120 times and written much about Korean security issues. He has also done work on the Persian/Arab Gulf region.
His Northeast Asian research has addressed issues such as future ROK military force requirements, understanding and shaping the ongoing Korean nuclear weapon crisis, Korean unification, the Korean military balance, counters to North Korean chemical and biological weapon threats in Korea and Japan, potential Chinese intervention in Korean contingencies, changes in the Northeast Asia security environment, and deterrence of nuclear threats (including strengthening the U.S. nuclear umbrella). He has worked with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, U.S. Forces Korea and Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command and Central Command, the ROK and Japanese militaries, and the ROK National Assembly.
Bennett received his B.S. in economics from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where he is also a professor.
When he retired, Han was professor of defense policy and arms control at KNDU. His academic experience includes serving as the president of Korea Nuclear Policy Society (2012-15), vice president of KNDU (2010-12), director general of KNDU's Research Institute for National Security Affairs (2005-08), and president of Korea Peace Research Association (2007-10).
He has been a visiting fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), a visiting professor of Fudan University in Shanghai China (2015-2016), a visiting professor at China Foreign Affairs University (2009), a visiting fellow at RAND (1999-2000), and a visiting fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He was also a staff member of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in the Monterey Institute for International Affairs.
His political advisory roles include assignments as special assistant to the South Korean Minister of National Defense (1993), and senior staff member to the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission (1991-92).
His books including Peace and Arms Control on the Korean Peninsula, Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation in Northeast Asia, Sunshine in Korea (co-written with Norman D. Levin), and Conventional Arms Control on the Korean Peninsula.
Han earned his B.A. and M.A. from Seoul National University, an M.P.P. from Harvard University, prior to receiving his Ph.D. from the (then) RAND Graduate School in 1991.