Mackubin Owens

About Mackubin Owens

Mackubin Thomas Owens is 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.

The Perils of Praetorianism

From the time of Augustus Caesar until Constantine, the Roman emperor was protected by a corps of soldiers known as the Praetorian Guard. Over time, the Praetorians became the real power in Rome, appointing and deposing emperors at will. In our time, praetorianism has come to mean despotic military rule, something associated with countries in

By | 2019-10-16T14:37:36-07:00 October 16th, 2019|Tags: |

Slandering the American Founding

Well, it’s settled. Everything we thought we knew about the American Founding is wrong. The real Founding is not the Declaration of Independence in 1776 or even the drafting of the Constitution in 1787. Instead, it is 1619 when the first slaves arrived in the settlement of Jamestown. Thus sayeth the 1619 Project of the

By | 2019-09-21T16:31:13-07:00 September 21st, 2019|Tags: |

China vs. A Liberal World Order

For six decades after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Great Britain was able to underwrite a liberal world order based on freedom of navigation and free trade. The unification of Germany in the early 1870s threatened this system. Although Great Britain was willing to accommodate Germany, Germany did not wish to be

By | 2019-04-17T09:09:27-07:00 April 17th, 2019|

America Needs Nationalism to Survive

In a speech commemorating the centenary of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron recently condemned nationalism as “the opposite of patriotism,” which most everyone took as a rebuke to Donald Trump, who was in attendance. President Trump may be wrong on many issues but he is right on nationalism, as properly understood.

By | 2018-11-29T19:45:49-07:00 November 29th, 2018|

Kavanaugh’s ‘Popeye Moment’

People of a certain age will remember what I like to call a “Popeye moment.” Popeye, confronted by some injustice, exclaims “that’s all I can stands, ‘cause I can’t stands no more!” before downing a can of spinach and righting the wrong. The Greeks had a name for a Popeye moment: thumos, righteous indignation. This is

By | 2018-10-03T11:35:57-07:00 October 3rd, 2018|

Renegotiating America’s Role in the World: Avoiding the British Precedent

After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Great Britain pursued a grand strategy of primacy, based on the concept of what Robert Gilpin has called “hegemonic stability.” For nearly a century, Britain provided an international “public good,” underwriting the security upon which global stability, interdependence and prosperity depend. By balancing power on the

By | 2018-08-19T20:29:34-07:00 August 20th, 2018|

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