National Security Experts


Gen. Barry McCaffrey

Biography provided by participant

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey is President of his own consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia ( He serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News. The Washington Speakers Bureau exclusively represents his speeches. McCaffrey is also an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. From January 2001 to May 2005, McCaffrey served as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies. McCaffrey graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He holds a Master of Arts degree in civil government from American University. He attended the Harvard University National Security Program as well as the Business School Executive Education Program. In October 2004, McCaffrey was elected by the Board of Directors of HNTB Corporation ( to serve as the Board Chairman of a newly formed subordinate company, HNTB Federal Services. In January 2008, McCaffrey was elected to the HNTB Companies Board of Directors. The HNTB Companies are an employee-owned organization of infrastructure firms with sixty-three offices nationwide -- known and respected for their work in transportation, tolls, bridges, aviation, rail, architecture and urban design and planning. He has been elected to: the Board of Directors of DynCorp International, CRC Health Corporation, Global Linguist Solutions, McNeil Technologies, Phoenix House Foundation and the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is also: a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an Associate of the Inter-American Dialogue; a Principal for the Council on Excellence in Government; a member of the CSIS U.S.-Mexico Binational Council; Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center Advisory Board; a Senior Executive Associate for Army Aviation Association of America and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Infantry Foundation. McCaffrey also participates in US Army Fires Center - Senior Field Artillery Advisory Council, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. McCaffrey stepped down as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in January 2001. He was confirmed to the position by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate in February 1996 and served as a member of the President�s Cabinet and the National Security Council for drug-related issues. As ONDCP Director, he coordinated the $19 billion federal drug control budget and developed the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy. McCaffrey is active in national security affairs. He co-chaired the Atlantic Council of the United States NATO Counterterrorism Working Group, leading a delegation to Moscow, Mons, Brussels and Warsaw. In 2004 he addressed the �Security of the Americas Conference� in Mexico City and met with senior officials of the Mexican Government. In April 2004, McCaffrey helped release the CSIS Bi-national Commission Reports on Migration and Border Security. In February 2002, McCaffrey visited Cuba and participated in a small group session with Fidel and Raul Castro discussing U.S.-Cuba policies. His article on Cuba can be found at McCaffrey periodically conducts political-military evaluations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Colombia, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. His After Action Reports on all these trips are available at Among the honors he has received are: Health and Human Services Lifetime Achievement Award For Extraordinary Achievement in the Field of Substance Abuse Prevention (2004); recognized as one of the 500 Most Influential People in American Foreign Policy by World Affairs Councils of America (2004); the Department of State�s Superior Honor Award for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks; The Central Intelligence Agency Great Seal Medallion; the United States Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award; the NAACP Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award; the Norman E. Zinberg Award of the Harvard Medical School; The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation's National Service Award; The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Lifetime Achievement Award; and decorations from France, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. In 2007 he was given the National Leadership Award by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) awarded McCaffrey their �Golden Eagle� recognition in 2007. McCaffrey was inducted into the US Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2007 at the US Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning, Georgia. In April 2008, he was honored with the Lifetime of Achievement Award at the American Red Cross Annual Fire & Ice Ball in Washington, DC. Also in 2008, McCaffrey received the Spirit of the Buffalo Soldier Award from the Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers and the W. Stuart Symington Award from the Air Force Association. Prior to confirmation as the National Drug Policy Director, McCaffrey served as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces Southern Command coordinating national security operations in Latin America. During his military career, he served overseas for thirteen years and completed four combat tours. He commanded the 24th Infantry Division (Mech) during the Desert Storm 400-kilometer left hook attack into Iraq. At retirement from active duty, he was the most highly decorated four-star general in the U.S. Army. He twice received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation�s second highest medal for valor. He was also awarded two Silver Stars and received three Purple Heart medals for wounds sustained in combat. McCaffrey served as the assistant to General Colin Powell and supported the Chairman as the JCS advisor to the Secretary of State and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Recent Responses

March 22, 2010 09:52 AM

General Dave Petraeus clearly did not leak his legitimate private national security advice to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. Those in Washington who support these viewpoints back-channeled his recommendations to the media to add leverage to their policy point of view. Petraeus is clearly the most innovative and experienced strategic military thinker we have had in two generations. He is brilliant, has a sense of military power, and has the trust and respect of the many communities he is tasked to understand and influence in the CENTCOM arena of operations.

There is little doubt in my view that Petraeus is correct in the notion that sorting out the Palestinian problem is crucial to America's challenges in the Arab world. No one in any administration has succeeded in seriously lowering the historically hateful political temperature in the region.

The Palestinians legitimately see themselves as victims of the Israelis who have stolen their land; besieged and beggared them in the pockets of Gaza and the West Bank; and used fir

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