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Robert Spalding is a national security policy strategist, and globally recognized for his knowledge of Chinese economic competition and influence, as well as for his ability to forecast global trends and develop innovative solutions. He has served in senior positions of strategy and diplomacy within the Defense and State Departments for more than 26 years, retiring as brigadier general.
He was the chief architect for the Trump Administration’s widely praised National Security Strategy (NSS), and the Senior Director for Strategy to the President at the National Security Council.
Dr. Spalding is a skilled combat leader, and a seasoned diplomat. Under Dr. Spalding’s leadership, the 509th Operations Group—the nation’s only B-2 Stealth Bomber unit—experienced unprecedented technological and operational advances. Dr. Spalding’s demonstrated acumen for solving complex technological issues to achieve operational success, was demonstrated when he led a low-cost rapid-integration project for a secure global communications capability in the B-2, achieving tremendous results at almost no cost to the government. As commander, he led forces in the air and on the ground in Libya and Iraq. He is a former China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, as well as having served as the senior defense official and defense attaché in Beijing. During the UUV Incident of 2016, Dr. Spalding averted a diplomatic crisis by negotiating with the Chinese PLA for the return of the UUV, without the aid of a translator.
Dr. Spalding has written extensively on national security matters. His book, Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept
(Portfolio; 2019) is an executive summary of his almost decade-long work countering Chinese Communist Party influence. It is being translated into additional languages. His work has been published in The Washington Post
, The Washington Times
, Foreign Affairs
, The American Interest
, War on the Rocks
, FedTech Magazine
, Defense One
, The Diplomat
, and other edited volumes. His Air Power Journal
article on America’s Two Air Forces is frequently used in the West Point curriculum. He has been interviewed on FOX News and CNBC, as well as numerous radio and YouTube channels, both nationally and internationally.