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.

To Read the Full Story

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

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Join Now
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.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

At an event in Miami, Biden asserted that if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, “she may very well move to overrule Roe.”


The Latest