Mackubin T. Owens

Honored Visiting Graduate Faculty
Ashbrook Center
Office Number: 


Professor Mackubin T. Owens is Professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College. From 1999 until 2010, he was also Associate Dean of Academics for Electives and Directed Research. He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI’s quarterly journal. He specializes 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; energy security; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the core Naval War College course, he has 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.

Dr. Owens is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, writing primarily on security affairs. His articles have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Armed Forces Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Naval War College Review, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the Jerusalem Post, St. Louis Lawyer, The Washington Times, The Claremont Review of Books, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post and New York Daily News. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote the chapters entitled "The Political Economy of National Security," "Thinking About Strategy," and “Strategy and the Logic of Force Planning.” His book, US Civil-Military Bargain after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Millitary Bargain was published in January 2011 by Continuum. He is also completing a book for the University Press of Kentucky tentatively titled Sword of Republican Empire: A History of US Civil-Military Relations.

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 commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Colonel in 1994.

Research Areas

US Military and Naval Strategy
National Security
Civil-Military Relations


PhD, University of Dallas
MA, University of Oklahoma
BA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Courses Taught

AHG 503 - Sectionalism and Civil War
AHG 504 - Civil War and Reconstruction
AHG 510 - William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor
AHG 611 - The American Way of War

Business Experience

United States Marine Corps, 1968 to 1994