|13th United States National Security Advisor|
October 17, 1983 –December 4, 1985
|Preceded by||William Clark|
|Succeeded by||John Poindexter|
|Deputy National Security Advisor|
April 4, 1982 –October 17, 1983
|Preceded by||James Nance|
|Succeeded by||John Poindexter|
|Counselor of the Department of State|
February 28, 1981 –April 4, 1982
|Preceded by||Rozanne L. Ridgway|
|Succeeded by||James L. Buckley|
Robert Carl McFarlane
July 12, 1937
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education|| United States Naval Academy (BS)|
Geneva Graduate Institute (MA)
National Defense University
|Years of service||1959–1979|
|Awards|| Navy Distinguished Service Medal |
Bronze Star (with valor)
Meritorious Service Medal
Navy Commendation Medal (with valor)
Secretary's Distinguished Service Award
Navy Distinguished Public Service Award
Robert Carl "Bud" McFarlane (born July 12, 1937) is a retired Marine Corps officer who served as National Security Advisor to President of the United States Ronald Reagan from 1983 through 1985.
After a career in the Marines, McFarlane became part of the Reagan administration and was a leading architect of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) for defending the United States against missile attack.Subsequently, he was involved in, and pleaded guilty to charges for actions related to, the Iran-Contra affair, but received a pardon from President George H.W. Bush.
McFarlane is the son of former Texas Democratic Congressman William McFarlane. After graduating high school, McFarlane entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1955, where he graduated in 1959. He was the third member of his family to attend the Academy, after his uncle Robert McFarlane (1925) and his brother Bill (1949). At the academy he graduated in the top 15 percent of the class and lettered twice in gymnastics. He received an honorary doctorate from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. in 2014. He sang in the Chapel Choir, and was a Brigade Administrative Officer and 14th Company Commander.
Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1959, McFarlane was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, where he served as a field artillery officer.
As a Marine Corps officer, McFarlane commanded platoons, a battery of field artillery howitzers and was the Operations Officer for an artillery regiment. He taught Gunnery at the Army Advanced Artillery Course. He was the executive assistant to the Marine Corps' Operations Deputy from 1968–1971, preparing the deputy for meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During this assignment he was also the Action Officer in the Marine Corps Operations Division for Europe/NATO, the Middle East and Latin America.
McFarlane served two combat tours in the Vietnam War. In March 1965, he commanded the artillery battery in the first landing of U.S. combat forces in Vietnam. While deployed during his first tour, McFarlane was selected for graduate studies as an Olmsted Scholar. McFarlane received a master's degree (License) in strategic studies with highest honors from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales, HEI) in Geneva, Switzerland.
After attending the Graduate Institute of International Studies, McFarlane returned for a second tour in 1967–1968 as a Regimental Fire Support Coordinator for the 3rd Marine Division deployed along the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone during the Tet Offensive. He organized all fire support (B-52s, naval gunfire from the USS New Jersey (BB-62) and artillery) for forces deployed at Con Thien, Cam Lo, Dong Ha, The Rockpile, Khe Sanh and points between. McFarlane received a Bronze Star and a Navy Commendation Medal, both with Valor device.
Following his second tour in Vietnam and a tour at Headquarters Marine Corps, in 1971 he was named a White House Fellow. He was the first Marine Corps officer selected for the program.
McFarlane was assigned to the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House and at the conclusion of that assignment was selected as the Military Assistant to Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council. In this post, McFarlane dealt with intelligence exchanges with the People's Republic of China from 1973 to 1976, giving detailed intelligence briefings to China at the time of the Sino-Soviet split. He also accompanied Kissinger on his visits to China. In addition, McFarlane dealt with other aspects of foreign policy, including the Middle East, relations with the Soviet Union and arms control. McFarlane was appointed by President Gerald Ford as his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs while a Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal in 1976.
Upon leaving the White House, McFarlane was assigned to the National Defense University, where he co-authored a book on crisis management while concurrently receiving a diploma from the National War College.
He ended his Marine Corps career on Okinawa as Operations Officer for the 12th Marine Regiment. McFarlane retired in 1979 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1979, he was appointed by U.S. Senator John Tower to the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he was responsible for staffing Senate consideration of the SALT II Treaty from 1979 to 1981. He also authored much of Ronald Reagan's foreign policy platform during the 1980 presidential campaign.
In 1981, President Reagan appointed and the Senate confirmed McFarlane as Counselor to the Department of State.In this post he assisted Secretary of State Alexander Haig.
In 1982, Reagan appointed McFarlane as Deputy National Security Advisor responsible for the integration of the policy recommendations of the Departments of State, Treasury and Defense. In 1983, he was appointed by the president as his Special Representative in the Middle East responsible for Israeli-Arab negotiations.
McFarlane has been criticized for involving the United States armed forces in the Lebanon Civil War with gunship bombardment of Lebanese opposition forces which may have led to the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing where 241 American servicemen were killed.
Following that assignment, he returned to the White House and was appointed President Reagan's National Security Advisor.In that post, he was responsible for the development of U.S. foreign and defense policy. He was a supporter of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or "Star Wars").
The Iran-Contra affair involved secretly selling arms to Iran and funneling the money to support the Contras in Nicaragua. As National Security Adviser, McFarlane urged Reagan to negotiate the arms deal with Iranian intermediaries, but McFarlane says that by late December 1985 he was urging Reagan to end the arms shipments.McFarlane resigned on December 4, 1985, citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family; he was replaced by Admiral John Poindexter.
The Iran-Contra affair came to light in November 1986 and a political scandal ensued. Disheartened, feeling abused by his former colleagues and in depression over the embarrassment for the president that his actions had contributed to, McFarlane attempted suicide with an overdose of 25 to 30 valium tablets and was admitted into the hospital just two hours before his scheduled testimony before the Blue Ribbon panel appointed by President Reagan to investigate Iran-Contra known as the Tower Commissionon February 9, 1987, saying he had failed his country.
In 1988, he pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress as part of the Iran-Contra cover-up.He was sentenced to two years' probation and a $20,000 fine but was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush on Christmas Eve 1992.
McFarlane co-founded and served as CEO of McFarlane Associates Inc., an international consulting company.
He is also a Co-founder and Directorof IP3 International (short for "International Peace Power & Prosperity" ), a consortium of firms wanting to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia that is led by retired U.S. military commanders and former White House officials. Michael Flynn has described himself as an adviser to IP3, which the company denies. In May 2019, McFarlane wrote an op-ed in The Washington Times advocating for developing nuclear power generation in the Middle East titled "The New Imperialism". This proposal, dubbed "Middle East Marshall Plan" by its backers, was detailed in a March 2017 White Paper written by Tom Barrack, the chairman of Donald Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, a senior adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, and a middleman between Trump and Arab princes.
McFarlane is a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) Board of Advisors, is president of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, is on the Board of Advisors and is a founding member of the Set America Free Coalition. He is also an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy.
McFarlane serves on a number of boards including:
He was an advisor to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Since 2009, McFarlane has been working in the southern region of Sudan and Darfur on intertribal relations and development projects. On September 30, 2009, the Washington Post published a story suggesting that McFarlane's contract for this work, which is supported by the government of Qatar, was the result of a request by Sudanese officials. McFarlane denied any improper contact with Sudanese officials or efforts to avoid disclosure of his work. The Washington Post article reported that some persons involved in peacemaking efforts in the southern Sudan region questioned the source and helpfulness of McFarlane's activities.That article prompted FBI investigators to review McFarlane's activities in the Sudan. After an exhaustive probe that lasted three years and included search of his trash, email, and personal belongings, investigators concluded their search and did not file any criminal charges.
In July 2011, McFarlane, in cooperation with former CIA director Jim Woolsey, co-founded the United States Energy Security Council,sponsored by the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.
|Navy Distinguished Service Medal|
|Bronze Star with Valor device|
|Meritorious Service Medal|
|Navy Commendation Medal with Valor device|
|Army Commendation Medal|
|Combat Action Ribbon|
|Secretary of State Distinguished Service Award|
|Secretary of the Navy Medal for Distinguished Public Service|
|Presidential Service Badge|
|Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement (1979)|
|American-Swiss Friendship "Man of the Year" Award (1985)|
The Iran–Contra affair, popularized in Iran as the McFarlane affair, the Iran–Contra scandal, or simply Iran–Contra, was a political scandal in the United States that occurred during the second term of the Reagan Administration. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to the Khomeini government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. The administration hoped to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
Oliver Laurence North is an American political commentator, television host, military historian, author, and retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel.
Edwin Meese III is an American attorney, law professor, author and member of the Republican Party who served in official capacities within the Ronald Reagan Gubernatorial Administration (1967–1974), the Reagan Presidential Transition Team (1980) and the Reagan White House (1981–1985), eventually rising to hold the position of the 75th United States Attorney General (1985–1988), a position from which he resigned following the Wedtech scandal.
John Marlan Poindexter is a retired United States naval officer and Department of Defense official. He was Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor for the Reagan administration. He was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies as a result of his actions in the Iran–Contra affair, but his convictions were reversed on appeal in 1991. More recently, he served a brief stint as the director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office for the George W. Bush administration. He is the father of NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Alan G. Poindexter.
This article is about the history of the United States National Security Council during the Reagan Administration, 1981–1989.
Elliott Abrams is an American diplomat and lawyer who has served in foreign policy positions for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. Abrams is considered to be a neoconservative. He is currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. On January 25, 2019, he was appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela.
Fawn Hall is a former secretary to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and a notable figure in the Iran-Contra affair by helping him shred confidential documents.
John Robert Bolton is an American attorney, political commentator, Republican consultant, former diplomat and national security advisor.
Stephen John Hadley was the 21st U.S. Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, serving under President George W. Bush during the second term of his administration. Hadley was Deputy National Security Advisor during Bush's first term. Before that Hadley served in a variety of capacities in the defense and national security fields. He has also worked as a lawyer and consultant in private practice.
James Norman Mattis is a retired United States Marine general and former government official who served as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense from January 2017 through January 2019. A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.
Manucher Ghorbanifar is an expatriate Iranian arms dealer and former SAVAK agent.
The Tower Commission was commissioned on December 1, 1986 by United States president Ronald Reagan in response to the Iran–Contra affair, in which senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo. The commission, composed of former Senator John Tower of Texas, former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, was tasked with reviewing the proper role of the National Security Council staff in national security operations generally, and in the arms transfers to Iran specifically.
The presidency of Ronald Reagan in the United States was marked by multiple scandals, resulting in the investigation, indictment, or conviction of over 138 administration officials, the largest number for any U.S. president.
Stefan A. Halper is an American foreign policy scholar and Senior Fellow at the University of Cambridge where he is a Life Fellow at Magdalene College. He served as a White House official in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations, and was reportedly in charge of the spying operation by the 1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign that became known as "Debategate". Through his decades of work for the CIA, Halper has had extensive ties to the Bush family. Through his work with Sir Richard Billing Dearlove, he had ties to the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.
Nicaragua is a country in Central America. Bordering it are the Caribbean Sea, the North Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica, and Honduras. As of 2016, there are 5,966,796 Nicaraguans in the country. The country is reigned by a presidential republic government type.
J. Daniel Howard was Special Assistant to President of the United States Ronald Reagan from July 1986 to February 1988, United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs from February 1988 to May 1989 and Under Secretary of the Navy from 1989 to 1993.
The Iran–Contra affair was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
Guy B. Roberts is an American government official, lawyer, and retired United States Marine Corps colonel who served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs from 2017 to 2019. He previously was the president of GBR Consulting, a national security consulting firm. Roberts was also a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an adjunct professor teaching courses on homeland security, international terrorism, non-proliferation, and arms control at Mary Washington University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Weapons of Mass Destruction Policy and Director of Nuclear Policy for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Roberts received the Exceptional Public Service Award from the Department of Defense. He served for 25 years in the United States Marine Corps, concluding his career as the Staff Judge Advocate for U.S. Southern Command and retiring as a colonel.
Charles Martin Kupperman was the United States Deputy National Security Advisor for President Donald Trump, a position he held from January to September 2019. He also was the acting United States National Security Advisor for eight days in September 2019 between John Bolton and Robert C. O'Brien.
IP3 International is a nuclear technology company formed in June 2016. One project involved a plan to transfer nuclear technology from the United States to Saudi Arabia.
Rozanne L. Ridgway
| Counselor of the Department of State |
James L. Buckley
| Deputy National Security Advisor |
| National Security Advisor |