Matthew VanDyke

freedom fighter matthew vandyke working as a journalist in afghanistan

Nationality: American
Occupation: Writer, documentary filmmaker, analyst, consultant, TV/Radio commentator
Education: Master's degree in Security Studies (Georgetown University), Bachelor's degree in Political Science (UMBC)
Expertise: Libya, Syria, Egypt, The Arab Spring, Libyan Civil War, Syrian Civil War, North Africa, Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Asymmetric Warfare
Countries Worked In: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Spain, USA

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The Accidental Warrior

The American Filmmaker Who Became a Freedom Fighter in Libya

Matthew VanDyke on Social Media

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Analyst - Pundit - TV/Radio Personality and Commentator


National Security - Arab World - North Africa - Middle East - Libya - Syria - ISIS - Iraq - Arab Spring - Iran - Israel - Afghanistan - War - International Relations - Terrorism - Politics - Democratization - Foreign Policy - Islamic Fundamentalism


"He knows terrorists who have been in Guantanamo Bay.  And he knows the soldiers who put them there."


Matthew VanDyke has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera America, CTV, CBC, Sun News Network, Sky News, Al Alam, Magyar Televízió, NPR, and numerous other networks around the world

     Matthew VanDyke has been featured in television and radio programs broadcast around the world.  His extensive experience in North Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan combined with his thorough knowledge of topics ranging from the Arab Spring to the war on terrorism makes him a sought after media pundit and commentator.  He has consulted a variety of media outlets and the United States government using his first-hand knowledge and expertise.

     What makes his expertise on these subjects so thorough and unique compared to others in the field? Experience on the ground.  After earning his Master's degree in Security Studies with a Middle East Concentration from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Matthew VanDyke realized that the only way to truly obtain expert-level knowledge of his field was full immersion.  He set off for North Africa and the Middle East, living for years among all strata of Arab society in 8 countries.

     There are very few analysts with the level of knowledge and experience that Matthew VanDyke has acquired through his innovative, and at times dangerous, acquisition of expertise.  While others in the field were working in cubicles in Washington, DC or in secure compounds in Iraq and Afghanistan, VanDyke was out on his own, among the people of the region, gaining insights and making contacts that are impossible to acquire by any other method.

Key points about Matthew VanDyke:

- Provided a highly accurate assessment of the 2012 Benghazi attacks to Business Insider on September 12, 2012 (just one day after the attacks) that was proven correct by the New York Times investigation into the Benghazi attacks over a year later in December, 2013 (see the article "American Who Fought With Libyan Rebels: I Was Right About Benghazi" and VanDyke's blog post The 2012 Benghazi Attack for more details)

- Offers unique insight and analysis on his widely-read blogs at The Freedom Fighter Blog and The Huffington Post

 - The only non-Libyan American to fight alongside rebels of the Arab Spring as an accepted and official member of the National Liberation Army of Libya during the Libyan Civil War

- Former prisoner of war (POW) during the Libyan Civil War, imprisoned for nearly 6 months in two of Muammar Gaddafi's most notorious prisons

- War correspondent covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as an embedded journalist with the US military

- Lived in Iraq (with legal residency) 2008-2010

- On-the-ground experience and expertise in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania and Turkey

- Experience in the fields of journalism, international business, education, analysis, and the military

- An exceptional academic record, graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from UMBC and a Master's degree from the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University.  He was among the youngest students ever accepted into the Security Studies Program.

- A wide-range of contacts and connections - US military and government personnel, foreign military and government officials, political leaders, American and international media, former terrorists and Taliban, business leaders... everyone from poor farmers to members of an Arab royal family.  He receives information and insights from his extensive, diverse contacts.