Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster

Research Fellow / National Security Affairs Fellow 2002-2003
Biography: 

Lieutenant 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.

He assumed duties as the Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command on 15 July 2014. Prior to his arrival at Fort Eustis he served as Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning from June 2012 to July 2014. Previously he served as Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

LTG McMaster's previous command assignments include Eagle Troop, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bamberg, Germany and in Southwest Asia during the 1991 Persian Gulf War; 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in Schweinfurt Germany from 1999 to 2002; and 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado and in Iraq from June 2004 to June 2006. Staff assignments include Director of Concept Development and Learning at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from August 2008 to May 2010; Special Assistant to the Commander, Multinational Force-Iraq from February 2007 to May 2008; Director, Commander's Advisory Group at US Central Command from May 2003 to 2004; and squadron executive officer and regimental operations officer in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment from July 1997 to July 1999. He also served as an assistant professor of 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.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, contributing editor for Survival magazine and a senior consulting fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

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Recent Commentary

The Uncertainties of Strategy

by Lieutenant General H. R. McMastervia Taylor & Francis
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Lawrence Freedman's Strategy: A History draws out the need for strategy to be consistent with the enduring nature of war.

The Pipe Dream of Easy War

by Lieutenant General H. R. McMastervia New York Times
Saturday, July 20, 2013

FORT BENNING, Ga. — “A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep,” the novelist Saul Bellow once wrote. We should keep that in mind when we consider the lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — lessons of supreme importance as we plan the military of the future.

US flag on military helmet

Why the U.S. Army Needs Armor: The Case for a Balanced Force

by Chris McKinney, Mark Elfendahl, Lieutenant General H. R. McMastervia Foreign Affairs
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ever since World War II, the United States has depended on armored forces -- forces equipped with tanks and other protected vehicles -- to wage its wars. General Omar Bradley, the senior field commander of the U.S. ground forces that conquered Nazi Germany, noted in his official after-action report that tank warfare, especially when combined with airpower, proved essential in defeating the Wehrmacht.

H. R. McMaster at Pentagon event

A Warrior-Scholar Looks at Afghanistan

by Lieutenant 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 Lieutenant 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 Lieutenant 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.

US Capitol
In the News

The Human Element: When Gadgetry Becomes Strategy

by Lieutenant 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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Analysis and Commentary

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

by Lieutenant 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.

Analysis and Commentary

A Call for a Broad View

by Lieutenant 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.