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.

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 policy at Georgetown University and the deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. 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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