On March 22, Robert “Bud” McFarlane led a graduate seminar session on U.S. grand strategy and national security issues with students from Chapman’s MA Program in War and Society Studies. McFarlane served as National Security Advisor to President of the United States Ronald Reagan from 1983 through 1985.

In a wide-ranging discussion, held in the Cabinet Room of the Nixon Presidential Library, McFarlane shared his experiences from more than three decades in public life. He served two combat tours in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine Corps officer before being named a White House Fellow. Afterwards, he was selected as the Military Assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council.

McFarlane later was assigned to the National Defense University and appointed to the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, before becoming President Reagan’s  National Security Advisor.

During the seminar, McFarlane spoke of the importance of having solid relations with America’s allies, of ensuring that foreign policy interests align with national capabilities, and of the role scholarship plays in sound decision making.

As the former Naval Academy graduate and recipient of the Bronze Star shared, “Without a knowledge of history, you are going to have a hard time governing.”