Author

Mackubin Thomas 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 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 by Mackubin Thomas Owens

For God and Country

For God and Country

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

The Fog of War

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

On the Warpath

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

How the Confederates Won

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

First in War

Could America have won its independence without Washington?
The Lost Cause In Retreat

The Lost Cause In Retreat

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

Friends & Enemies

Waging Modern War, by retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, is a fascinating account of coalition warfare: NATO's 1999 war against Yugoslavia in Kososvo.
Friends & Enemies

Friends & Enemies

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

Freedom Fighters

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