H. R. McMaster

Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow
Biography: 

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

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This Familiar Battleground

by 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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In the News

The Human Element: When Gadgetry Becomes Strategy

by 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...

H.R. McMaster

H. R. McMaster: The Problem of Future War

with H. R. McMastervia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Col. Herbert Raymond McMaster speaks on The Problem of Future War: What Can We Learn from History and Contemporary Conflicts?

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Analysis and Commentary

Kicking the Vietnam Syndrome

by 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 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.

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