Barry R. McCaffrey

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Barry R. McCaffrey is president of BR McCaffrey Associates, LLC, a consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia that "provides strategic, analytic, and advocacy consulting services to businesses, non-profits, governments, and international organizations." He's also the former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and a board member of Mitretek Systems, Inc. He was a participant in the Pentagon military analyst program. [1] Since 2003, McCaffrey has been an adviser to the PR firm Fleishman-Hillard's "government relations" (lobbying) unit. [2]

McCaffrey served 32 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a four-star general. "After leaving government service, Barry McCaffrey served for five years (2001-2005) as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies at West Point," where he "continues as an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs." McCaffrey "serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News and writes a column on national security issues for Armed Forces Journal." [1][2]

The Pentagon's military analyst program

In April 2008 documents obtained by New York Times reporter David Barstow revealed that McCaffrey had been recruited as one of over 75 retired military officers involved in the Pentagon military analyst program. Participants appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns. The program was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The idea was to recruit "key influentials" to help sell a wary public on "a possible Iraq invasion."[1]

Fleishman-Hillard work

McCaffrey is on the PR firm Fleishman-Hillard's "International Advisory Board," which the firm says "provides clients with advice and counsel." [3] McCaffrey also specifically advises the firm's Government Relations practice. [4]

Also working at Fleishman's Government Relations practice is "veteran Washington lobbyist Rob Housman." McCaffrey is Housman's "former mentor," according to PR News, which in 2004 reported that McCaffrey "co-chairs the firm's homeland security practice." [5] "Housman was assistant director of strategic planning at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under McCaffrey during the Clinton administration," reported the Washington Post. [6]

Fleishman's homeland security practice was launched in early 2003, under McCaffrey. The Washington DC-based practice is "dedicated solely to a new department mandated by President George W. Bush called Homeland Security," The Australian reported at the time. Fleishman's William Anderson explained, "The intention is to provide better security against aggression like we had with 9/11. ... There is going to be a tremendous need for all kinds of constituencies to communicate with that department, whether it is to sell something or whether to lobby for some particular position." [7]

McCaffrey told National Journal that he wanted to work with Fleishman-Hillard "because, aside from its large size, 'it's already got an established reputation of delivering the goods and being a firm you can deal with on the basis of integrity.'" [8]

Fleishman-Hillard did work for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) under McCaffrey, according to a December 2000 press release from ONDCP and 1999 media accounts. [9] [10] ONDCP paid Fleishman nearly $10 million a year for its anti-drug PR work. [11] Fleishman's ONDCP work included "event management, partnership development and public relations work with the entertainment industry and on the Internet." [12] Some of Fleishman's ONDCP work was controversial. In particular, the firm encouraged "TV networks to slip anti-drug messages in TV sitcoms and dramas in exchange for ad time worth millions of dollars." The embedded anti-drug messages allowed the TV stations to avoid public service announcement requirements, freeing up airtime that could be used for paid ads. [13]

In addition, Paul Johnson, then-Fleishman's top Washington DC executive, "provided counsel to White House drug czar General McCaffrey on how to deal with an impending New Yorker article that criticized his conduct during the Gulf War." Johnson "said he counseled McCaffrey on the [Seymour] Hersh story as a 'personal favor.'" [14]

Other affiliations

McCaffrey is a board member of Veritas Capital and two Veritas companies, Raytheon Aerospace and Integrated Defense Technologies. [15]

McCaffrey served as the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from February 29, 1996, through January 7, 2001. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. McCaffrey was also a member of the National Security Council and the President's Drug Policy Council. [3][4]

Just prior to appointment as drug czar, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Southern Command, coordinating national security operations in Latin America. [5]

"During Operation Desert Storm, he commanded the 24th Infantry Division and led the 200-kilometer 'left hook' attack into the Euphrates River Valley." [6]

"McCaffrey served as the JCS assistant to General Colin Powell. While serving as the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he supported the chairman as the principal JCS Staff advisor to the Secretary of State and to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations." [7]

McCaffrey was awarded the Purple Heart three times and the Silver Star two times. [8][9]

McCaffrey was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts (1960), the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1964), earned his Masters of Arts in civil government from American University, and attended the Harvard University National Security Program. He taught American government, national security studies and comparative politics at West Point. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an associate member of the Inter-Amencan Dialogue. [10][11][12]


Shortly after the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, McCaffrey exclaimed on MSNBC: "Thank God for the Abrams tank and... the Bradley fighting vehicle." The "war isn't over until we've got a tank sitting on top of Saddam's bunker," he added. The Nation noted, "in March [2003] alone, [Integrated Defense Technologies] received more than $14 million worth of contracts relating to Abrams and Bradley machinery parts and support hardware." [15]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Barstow, "Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," New York Times, April 20, 2008.
  2. "[The Lobby League: #41, Homeland Security Barry R. McCaffrey Building on a military career]," Sidebar to David Barstow, "One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex," New York Times, November 29, 2008.
  3. Press release, "Fernando Ferrer Joins Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations as Co-Chairman," Fleishman-Hillard via PR Newswire, November 1, 2006.
  4. "The Lobby League: #41, Homeland Security," The Hill, July 27, 2005.
  5. "PR Movers," PR News, June 7, 2004.
  6. Judy Sarasohn, "Realtors Get Help Fending Off Banks," The Washington Post, May 27, 2004.
  7. Paul McIntyre, "Former government defence chiefs join volatile PR front line," The Australian, February 6, 2003.
  8. Erin Heath, "People," The National Journal, December 14, 2002.
  9. Press release, "Kids Identify Family and Sports as Important Factors That Keep Them Away From Drugs: Nationwide Campaign Asks, 'What's Your Anti-Drug?'," ONDCP via PR Newswire, December 6, 2000.
  10. Morton M. Kondracke, "Clinton Answer To 'Just Say No': A Media Barrage," Roll Call, March 29, 1999.
  11. Ira Teinowitz, "Drug Office Says Yes to O&M on Media Buying Contract," Advertising Age, January 4, 1999.
  12. Eric Fisher, "Advertising and Media," The Washington Times, December 7, 1998.
  13. Jack O'Dwyer, "Reporter Exposes Ad-Giveback Scheme," Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter, February 16, 2000.
  14. "F-H did pro bono work for McCaffrey," O'Dwyer's PR Services Report, November, 2000.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Daniel Benaim, Priyanka Motaparthy & Vishesh Kumar, "TV's Conflicted Experts," The Nation, April 21, 2003.

External resources

External articles

Articles by Barry McCaffrey

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