H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow

H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.  He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

From 2014 to 2017 McMaster designed the future army as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and the deputy commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). As commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, he oversaw all training and education for the army’s infantry, armor, and cavalry force. His has extensive experience leading soldiers and organizations in wartime including Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force—Shafafiyat in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012; Commander, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq from 2005 to 2006; and Commander, Eagle Troop, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991. McMaster also served overseas as advisor to the most senior commanders in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

McMaster holds a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He was an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy from 1994 to 1996.  He is author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and the award-winning Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.  He was a contributing editor for Survival: Global Politics and Strategy from 2010 to 2017.  His many essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Survival, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.  

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Recent Commentary


H. R. McMaster On Squawk Box

interview with H. R. McMastervia CNBC - Squawk Box
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster says one way to deter China from attacking Taiwan would be to let China know the economic consequences of an attack.


H. R. McMaster: Growing China Threat

interview with H. R. McMastervia CNBC - Squawk Box
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster discusses whether companies should be doing business with China and if so, how do they hold China accountable for human rights violations.

Perspectives on PolicyFeatured

Deterrence By Denial: The Taiwanese Example

by H. R. McMastervia PolicyEd
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

H. R. McMaster uses the Taiwanese example to explain why deterrence by denial is important to preserving peace.


McMaster On GPS: How Likely Is War Between China And Taiwan?

interview with H. R. McMastervia CNN
Monday, October 11, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster discusses escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei.


H.R. McMaster: Stop Pretending Afghanistan Catastrophe Is Anything But Utter Failure

by H. R. McMastervia Fox News
Thursday, October 7, 2021

The catastrophe that is only beginning in Afghanistan, is the result of incompetence based in strategic narcissism, or the tendency for American leaders to define the world only in relation to the United States, and to assume that what they decide to do is decisive in securing a positive outcome.

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Pakistan: U.S. Serial Gullibility And The Epicenter Of Jihadist Terrorism

Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In this episode of Battlegrounds, H.R. McMaster and Ambassador Husain Haqqani discuss Pakistani foreign policy, jihadist terrorism, and the future of South Asia in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

H.R. McMaster in conversation with Ambassador Husain Haqqani on Wednesday, October 6 at 9:15am PT.


H. R. McMaster: Afghanistan 2001-2021: Evaluating The Withdrawal And U.S. Policies - Part II

with H. R. McMastervia Hoover Daily Report
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on "Afghanistan 2001-2021: Evaluating the Withdrawal and U.S. Policies - Part II."

In the News

H.R. McMaster: U.S., Allies In A ‘Very Dangerous Time’ For China Relations Amid Sorties Near Taiwan

featuring H. R. McMastervia The Washington Times
Monday, October 4, 2021

Former Trump National Security Advisor and retired Army Gen. H.R. McMaster on Monday warned that the U.S. and its allies are entering a “very dangerous time” in their relations with China.


Worldview With Trudy Rubin And Former National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster

interview with H. R. McMastervia Inquirer
Friday, October 1, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster discusses lessons learned from Afghanistan, the future of US involvement with Russia and China, international terrorism, and further threats to US democracy.

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GoodFellows: “Always Be An Autodidact”

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Fellow Talks
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

In this week’s episode, we dove into our mailbag of viewers’ letters. The end result: Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane answering questions ranging from the future of US-Sino relations, sovereign debt, vaccine stockpiling, and bitcoin to advice for young students, the fellows’ favorite scholars, and movies related to their respective fields.


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