Brigadier General H. R. McMaster

Research Fellow / National Security Affairs Fellow 2002-2003

Brigadier General H. R. McMaster is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was a national security affairs fellow at Hoover from 2002 to 2003.

McMaster has served in numerous command and staff positions in armor and cavalry units in the United States and Germany. He has served at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. He commanded Eagle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Bamberg, Germany, and Southwest Asia during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and the occupation of southern Iraq. He commanded the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, in Schweinfurt, Germany from October 1999 until June 2002. He served as director of the Commander's Advisory Group for the commander of the U.S. Central Command from 2003 to 2004. He was senior research associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and served as special assistant to the commander, Multinational Force Iraq.

McMaster taught history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996.

He is the author of the award-winning book Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. He has published numerous articles on historical and national security affairs topics in edited volumes, newspapers, magazines, and professional journals.

His military decorations include the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Purple Heart Medal.

McMaster received his BA from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Recent Commentary

H. R. McMaster at Pentagon event

A Warrior-Scholar Looks at Afghanistan

by Brigadier General H. R. McMaster, David Feithvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 26, 2012

Hoover fellow and major general H. R. McMaster refuses to entertain illusions or wishful thinking about Afghanistan. He sees neither a triumph nor a lost cause. By David Feith.

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Consolidating Gains and Hardening the Afghan State Against Organized Crime and Enemy Subversion

by Brigadier General H. R. McMastervia The Caravan
Monday, April 16, 2012

The mass murder attacks against our own nation on September 11, 2001 and subsequent attacks on other nations including the U.K., Spain, and India, demonstrate clearly the importance of denying transnational terrorist organizations access to the resources, freedom of movement, safe havens, and ideological space they need to plan, organize, and conduct these attacks.

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This Familiar Battleground

by Brigadier General H. R. McMastervia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

Policy makers, in their haste to forget the Vietnam War, also forgot to learn from it. By H. R. McMaster.

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The Human Element: When Gadgetry Becomes Strategy

by Brigadier General H. R. McMastervia World Affairs Journal
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the political debates concerning the nature and scope of U.S. involvement in those countries, have resurrected the “lessons” of Vietnam once again...

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Featured Commentary

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

by Brigadier General H. R. McMastervia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, February 17, 2003

Rather than helping us avoid folly, the symbolic memory of Vietnam poses a danger.

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A Call for a Broad View

by Brigadier General H. R. McMastervia Hoover Daily Report
Monday, October 28, 2002

Revisiting why intelligence indicators did not generate warnings and defensive action before December 7, 1941, seems relevant to September 11, 2001.