Biography

Col. (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson's last positions in government were as Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff (2002-05), Associate Director of the State Department's Policy Planning staff under the directorship of Ambassador Richard N. Haass, and member of that staff responsible for East Asia and the Pacific, political-military and legislative affairs (2001-02).

Before serving at the State Department, Wilkerson served 31 years in the U.S. Army. During that time, he was a member of the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College (1987 to 1989), Special Assistant to General Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93), and Director and Deputy Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia (1993-97). Wilkerson retired in 1997 and began work as an advisor to General Powell. He has also taught national security affairs at the George Washington University and is currently working on a book about the first George W. Bush administration.

Areas of Expertise

  • Vietnam War
  • Diplomacy / National security process
  • Iraq wars
  • China / Russia “new” Cold War
  • U.S. Nuclear policy
  • Defense budgetary process
  • U.S.-Iranian relations

Recent News

  • Lawrence Wilkerson: What The Public Doesn’t Know About Colin Powell
    Senior EMN Fellow Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson shares what the public doesn’t know about former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died on Monday. After standing by Powell’s side for more than a decade, Wilkerson gives an exclusive look at Powell’s internal conflict, blind spots and disillusionment over his role in the Iraq War.
  • Lawrence Wilkerson: Daniel Hale is a true American hero — and was punished for it
    Figures like Edward Snowden, Tom Drake, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou and a host of other whistleblowers loom large today above a world full of mostly sycophantic, cowardly and selfish adherents to the “rules.” Such truth tellers actually better represent the traditional nonconformist American ideal than any of their rule-of-the-road, stick-to-the-script fellow citizens.
  • Lawrence Wilkerson: God’s Troops, or the Devil’s?
    Imagine you’re President Joe Biden. You need $2 trillion dollars to fund one of your stated priorities – infrastructure. You learn of a war plane, the F-35 Lightning II, that would cost as much as $1.7 trillion to buy, field and maintain over the next 50 years. It’s $200 billion over budget, and more than ten years behind schedule. What do you do?