Faculty Expert Profile

Hal Brands

  • Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs


  • School of Advanced International Studies
  • Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

Languages spoken

  • English

Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is also a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and the author or editor of several books, including "American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump."

His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and defense strategy. Brands has served as special assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Strategic Planning from 2015 to 2016. He has also served as lead writer for the Commission on the National Defense Strategy for the United States, and consulted with a range of government offices and agencies in the intelligence and national security communities.

A recent essay in Bloomberg Opinion focused on the "Afghanistan Papers" series published by The Washington Post in which Brands writes that U.S. government officials have not, as they did during the Vietnam War, systematically lied to the American public that victory over the Taliban was close at hand. "Afghanistan is best seen, not as a morality play, but as a classic foreign policy dilemma in which all the options are bad ones," Brands wrote.

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