Mackubin Owens

About Mackubin Owens

Mackubin Thomas Owens is dean of academics for the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC, a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal. He recently retired after 29 years as Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was also Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University. Owens is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Leadership and Democratic Statesmanship in Wartime (2009) and US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain (January 2011) and coauthor of US Foreign and Defense Policy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower (2015) and The Evolution of the Executive and Executive Power in the American Republic (2014). Before joining the faculty of the War College, Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon and company commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired as a Colonel in 1994. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, a Master of Arts in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

How Bergdahl’s Case Perverts Military Justice

In his 60-year old classic study of U.S. civil-military relations, The Soldier and the State, the late Samuel Huntington observed the traditional attitude of liberal American society toward the military was “conform or die.” During periods of peace, when security was not at stake, he contended, liberalism’s policy was “extirpation,” the attempt to

By | 2017-11-06T13:01:19+00:00 November 6th, 2017|

What Would a Fair Transgender Policy in the Military Look Like?

President Trump’s announcement via Twitter last week that he would discontinue administrative directives ordering the armed forces to accommodate transgender men and women in the military has met with an all-too-predictable response. Democrats are apoplectic, engaging in a mix of virtue signaling and flag waving. Thus my congressman, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline

By | 2017-08-03T15:56:47+00:00 July 30th, 2017|

James Mattis the Teacher

I guess that in this day and age, we shouldn’t be surprised that a high school student was able to obtain Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’s cell phone number and call him up for an interview. But should we be surprised that Mattis accepted the call and then answered a series of questions?

By | 2017-07-15T14:50:58+00:00 July 12th, 2017|

Islamism Isn’t a Religion, It’s a Political System at War with Us

Last week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs convened a hearing on political Islam, also called “Islamism.” The committee invited four witnesses: Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, Asra Q. Nomani, Michael E. Leiter, former director of the United States National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and John Lenczowski, president of the Institute of World Politics.

By | 2017-06-26T12:47:46+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|

MOAB Makes Foreign Adventurism Less Likely Because Less Necessary

On Thursday, U.S. forces detonated the most powerful conventional weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the Massive Ordnance Air-burst Bomb or MOAB, against an ISIS tunnel complex in Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province which is just along that country’s northeast border with Pakistan. The MOAB first entered the US arsenal in 2003 during the lead up

By | 2017-04-21T00:04:06+00:00 April 14th, 2017|

McMaster is a Promising Choice

President Trump’s selection of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his national security adviser has been widely praised, and rightly so. McMaster is a remarkable man cut from the same cloth as the new secretary of defense, Jim Mattis. Both are inspirational leaders. Both are thoughtful, well-read “soldier-scholars.” Both are clear thinkers and straight

By | 2017-02-22T13:35:17+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|

Hamilton’s Actual Views on Immigration

Not too long ago, the cast of the hit musical "Hamilton" ostentatiously lectured Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in attendance, about "diversity" and "American values." Implicit in these remarks was criticism of the incoming administration's position on immigration. But the comments by the "Hamilton" cast miss an important point. Although Alexander Hamilton was himself

By | 2016-12-21T08:24:39+00:00 December 21st, 2016|

Mattis for Defense: Making Civil-Military Relations Great Again

President-elect Donald Trump with General James Mattis, USMC (retired). In 1968, Anton Myrer, a former Marine enlisted man turned writer, published his novel, Once an Eagle. The New York Times bestseller tells the story of two Army officers as they rise in rank from World War I to the beginnings of the American

By | 2016-11-22T17:29:19+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|