Xavier BARA

Researcher of the Centre for Security and Defence Studies



Cavalry and staff officer, geopolitical scientist, historian.
First Lieutenant Xavier Bara started his active service in the Belgian Army in 1994, in a spirit “for King and Country”. He has alternated the status categories of regular (full-time service), ready reserve and, since 2019, back to regular. He was assigned to the Jagers te Paard/Chasseurs à Cheval (reconnaissance light cavalry), his “corps of affiliation and heart”. In 1998, he gained experience in the Commando Training Centre. After years in the rank and file, he was commissioned as an officer in the armoured cavalry. In 2009, he was assigned to the 2/4th Regiment of Jagers te Paard/Chasseurs à Cheval and in 2011 to the Jagers te Paard/Chasseurs à Cheval Battalion/ISTAR Battalion (Intelligence – Surveillance – Target Acquisition – Reconnaissance). He developed his staff competence mainly in Branch 2/intelligence analysis and in 2019-2020 as an assistant staff officer Operations & Training (AS3) in the ISTAR Battalion, Staff & Services Squadron. In 2022, he obtained a certificate of Adviser in Law of Armed Conflicts at the Belgian Defence College. As an instructor at the Koninklijke School voor Onderofficieren/École royale des sous-officiers (royal school for non-commissioned officers) from 2021 to mid 2023, First Lieutenant Bara taught military organisation and law of the armed conflicts, and trained future military instructors. Since July 2023, he has been working as a researcher at the Centre for Security and Defence Studies (CSDS), responsible for the research line “Indo Pacific”.

A graduate of the universities of Liège (Belgium) and Osaka (Japan), he holds a PhD in international public policy. He resided in Japan between 2003 and 2012, where he worked as a researcher at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) and participated in activities with the Japanese ministry of Defence and various think tanks focusing on geostrategy, security and defence policy or military affairs.

As a history expert, he conducted research on the military outcomes of the Industrial Revolution in 1848/66, in particular on the case studies of the Austro-Prussian rivalry in Germany and Italy, and on the Western influence on the modernisation of the Japanese late shogunal (Bakumatsu) and early imperial armies according to the Dutch-Prussian model.