Magazine November 2, 2020, Issue

H. R. McMaster in New Book: U.S. Must Know Both Its Enemies & Itself

Then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 17, 2018. (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)
Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, by H. R. McMaster (Harper, 560 pp., $35)

I first met Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster almost exactly ten years ago. In the fall of 2010, I was working on the Iran desk in the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, and General McMaster was heading up a new Pentagon unit charged with rooting out the rampant corruption in Afghanistan that was undermining the U.S. war effort in that country. We scheduled a video teleconference call to see whether I might be a good fit for his team in Kabul.

I was a bit nervous going into the meeting. General McMaster was already a larger-than-life figure.

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This article appears as “Know the Enemy, Know Yourself” in the November 2, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Matthew Kroenig — Mr. Kroenig is a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University and the deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He was a foreign-policy adviser on the 2012 Mitt Romney and the 2016 Marco Rubio presidential campaigns. His most recent book is The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy versus Autocracy from the Ancient World to the U.S. and China.

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