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Mackubin Thomas Owens

Dr. 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 retired in 2014 after 28 years as Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. At the War College he specialized in the planning of US strategy and forces, especially naval and power projection forces; the political economy of national security; national security organization; strategic geography; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the NWC core course, he taught electives on The American Founding, Strategy and Policy of the American Civil War, The Statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, Sea Power and Maritime Strategy, Strategy and Geography, and US Civil-Military Relations.  From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He is on the board of advisers of the Alexander Hamilton Society.

Dr. Owens is the author of the FPRI monograph 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). He is at work on a book for Lynne Reiner tentatively titled A History of US Civil-Military Relations: Theory and Practice. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote several chapters, including "The Political Economy of National Security," "Thinking About Strategy," and “The Logic of Strategy and Force Planning.”

Dr. Owens has been a contributing editor to National Review Online and was a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, his articles on national security issues and energy have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, The St. Louis Lawyer, Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor; The Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, The Washington Times, The Boston Herald, and The New York Post. 

Before joining the faculty of the War College, Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.  He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Dallas, Catholic University, Ashland University of Ohio, and the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).  He was also a visiting lecturer at Amherst College during the fall of 2011. He has been a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses and a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and J-5 Strategy, the Joint Staff. He is the recipient of the 2012 Andrew Goodpaster Prize for excellence in military scholarship for his book US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11 and was the 2013 Ira Eaker Distinguished Lecturer at the Air Force Academy. 

Articles found on this site:
H.R. McMaster and the Loneliness of the Patriot
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: August 8, 2017
The charges against him are baseless....
Faithful and Honorable
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: May 1, 2017
This article appeared in: Volume XVII, Number 2, Spring 2017

William Tecumseh Sherman made Georgia howl.

General of the Lost Cause
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: May 29, 2015
This article appeared in: Vol. XV, Number 2, Spring 2015

How General Robert E. Lee accidentally saved the Constitution 

For God and Country
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: November 11, 2013
This article appeared in: Vol. XIII, Number 3 - Summer 2013

A review of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy, by Andrew Preston

The Fog of War
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: September 3, 2013
This article appeared in: Vol. X, Number 3 - Summer 2010

A review of The American Civil War: A Military History, by John Keegan

On the Warpath
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: September 16, 2012
This article appeared in: Vol. XII, Number 3 - Summer 2012

A review of Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War, by Eliot A. Cohen

How the Confederates Won
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: April 12, 2011
This article appeared in: Vol. III , Number 1 Winter 2002/03

The great tragedy of Civil War memory is that the emancipationist account of the war was sacrificed to reconciliation in alliance with white supremacy.

By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: February 10, 2009
This article appeared in: Vol. IX, Number 1 - Winter 2008/09

A review of Lincoln's wartime leadership.

Have Gun, Will Travel
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: April 20, 2007
This article appeared in: Vol. IV, Number 4 - Fall 2004
The case for America's role as sheriff of the new world order.
Subjugation and Extermination
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: February 3, 2005
This article appeared in: Vol. V, Number 1 - Winter 2004/05

Lincoln set a high standard for leadership in time of war 

First in War
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: July 6, 2004
This article appeared in: Vol. IV, Number 3 - Summer 2004

Could America have won its independence without Washington?

The Lost Cause In Retreat
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: July 29, 2003
This article appeared in: Vol. III, Number 3 - Summer 2003

In the age of so-called social history, those who can write military and political history in a clear, narrative style are treasures indeed.

The Path To Victory
By: Angelo M. Codevilla, Mackubin Thomas Owens, Norman Podhoretz, David Tucker
Posted: September 9, 2002
This article appeared in: Vol. II, Number 4 - Fall 2002

American people do not live surrounded by a moat, which means that there are 10,000 concentrations of people every day

Friends & Enemies
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: November 28, 2001
This article appeared in: Vol. II, Number 1 - Fall 2001

Waging Modern War, by retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, is a fascinating account of coalition warfare: NATO's 1999 war against Yugoslavi...

Freedom Fighters
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: May 24, 2001
This article appeared in: Vol. I, Number 3 - Spring 2001

Hanson's remarkable book argues that, on rare occasions, "there can be a soul, not merely a spirit, in the way men battle."

Vietnam Revisited
By: Mackubin Thomas Owens
Posted: July 10, 2014
This article appeared in: ,

A review of Vietnam: A History, by Stanley Karnow