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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Interviews

H.R. McMaster: Goal Of Changing Putin Is A 'Delusion' Suffered By 3 Presidents

interview with H. R. McMastervia KCRW
Monday, September 21, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin and says he sought to help President Trump recognize the need for a tougher suite of policies against Russia after its aggression in Eastern Europe.
In the News

McMaster: Goal Of Changing Putin Is A 'Delusion' Suffered By 3 Presidents

featuring H. R. McMastervia NPR
Monday, September 21, 2020

American policy toward Russia for two decades has struggled under a mistaken belief that presidents or positions can break through with President Vladimir Putin, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Monday.

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H.R. McMaster On America's Enemies And What He Saw In The White House

interview with H. R. McMastervia 60 Minutes (CBS)
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow H. R. McMaster talks about China, Russia, his decision to serve under President Trump, and a host of other topics in a wide-ranging interview.

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GoodFellows: Ten Miles From Stonehenge

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Already plagued by a pandemic and a sickly economy, is California’s spate of wildfires and unhealthy air the tipping point for its disgruntled residents? Hoover Institution Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane and Victor Davis Hanson discuss whether California can be fixed, or if it's time for a full-fledged “CalExit” to elsewhere in America.

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Ten Miles From Stonehenge

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Already plagued by a pandemic and a sickly economy, is California’s spate of wildfires and unhealthy air the tipping point for its disgruntled residents? Hoover Institution Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane and Victor Davis Hanson discuss whether California can be fixed, or if it's time for a full-fledged “CalExit” to elsewhere in America.

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GoodFellows: But Seriously, Folks . . .

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Friday, September 11, 2020

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With summer over and Americans (in theory, at least) returning to work, school, and familiar routines, what lies ahead for the remainder of 2020? Hoover Institution senior fellows Niall Ferguson. H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane examine what might ensue in the way of pandemic, economics, geopolitics, and a contentious presidential election.

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But Seriously, Folks . . .

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

With summer over and Americans (in theory, at least) returning to work, school, and familiar routines, what lies ahead for the remainder of 2020? Hoover Institution senior fellows Niall Ferguson. H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane examine what might ensue in the way of pandemic, economics, geopolitics, and a contentious presidential election.

In the News

Taiwan Should Amplify Voice Through Media: Former U.S. Official

featuring H. R. McMastervia Focus Taiwan
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Taiwan should make itself heard through media platforms to counter Beijing's co-option of the American media, H.R. McMaster, a former senior U.S. presidential advisor said at a forum Tuesday.

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Breaking The Cycle: The Need For A Sustainable, Long-Term Policy In The Middle East

by H. R. McMastervia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The inability of the United States, in cooperation with like-minded nations, to implement a consistent policy toward the greater Middle East and North Africa region (spanning Morocco in the west to Iran in the east and encompassing the northern countries of Syria and Iraq to the southern countries of Sudan and Yemen) has contributed to the extent of the region’s unravelling, diminishing American influence there.

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GoodFellows: A Little Revolution Now And Then . . .

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Friday, August 21, 2020

Its virtual national convention now concluded, what is the Democratic Party’s vision? Hoover Institution Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster and John Cochrane discuss whether the November election will spawn a policy push for the left and how a Biden presidency would balance old-guard liberal governance against a younger generation’s socialist and activist cravings.

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