Hal Brands

Hal Brands

Formal First Name
1983 - present

Hal Brands is Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US foreign policy and defense strategy. Previously, Brands served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Strategic Planning and a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on National Security. He was a lead writer for the Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States, and consulted with government offices and agencies in the intelligence and national security communities. Today, Brands also writes a weekly column for Bloomberg Opinion, and is the author of several books on U.S. foreign policy and global affairs. He is also a participant in the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues Research Group on Managing Strategic Competition.

Professional Experience

Academic History


  • American Defense Policy

  • American Foreign Policy

  • Nuclear Policy and Proliferation

  • Domestic Influences On Foreign Policy

  • Grand Strategy

  • Latin American Security and Diplomacy

  • Strategic and Security Issues

  • U.S. Congress and Foreign Policy

  • U.S. Presidency and Foreign Policy

  • History

  • International Relations


  • The Twilight Struggle: What the Cold War Teaches Us about Great-Power Rivalry Today (2022)

  • From Berlin to Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World (2021)

  • COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation (2020)

  • The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order (2019)

  • The Last Card: Inside George W. Bush's Decision to Surge in Iraq (2019)

  • American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump (2018)

  • Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order (2016)

  • The Power of the Past: History and Statecraft (2015)

  • What Good Is Grand Strategy?: Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush (2014)

  • Latin America’s Cold War (2012)

  • From Berlin to Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-cold War World (2018)


  • Brands has been widely published and interviewed in various popular print and broadcast media.

  • His work has been published in Commentary, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, The American Interest, and The National Interest.

  • His work has also appeared in The Washington Quarterly, The Weekly Standard, and other policy and academic journals.