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Robert Gard
Born January 28, 1928(1928-01-28) (age 93)
Place of birth West Point, New York, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service c. 1950 – 1981
Rank Lieutenant general
Commands held National Defense University

Robert Gibbins Gard, Jr. (born January 28, 1928) is a retired United States Army lieutenant general and current chairman of the board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where his work focuses on nuclear nonproliferation, missile defense, Iraq, Iran, military policy, nuclear terrorism, and other national security issues.[1]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

Gard was born in West Point, New York[2] and educated at TMI—The Episcopal School of Texas before receiving a place at the United States Military Academy (West Point).

Gard graduated from West Point with a B.S. in 1950.[3]

Army career[edit | edit source]

After graduating from West Point, Gard was an Army officer for the next 31 years, retiring in 1981.[3] Gard served in Korea (1952–54) and then received an M.P.A. (1956) and a Ph.D. in political economy and government (1962), both from Harvard University.[3] Gard then served in Germany (1962–65), graduated from the National War College (1966), and served as military assistant to two secretaries of defense (1966–68).[3] Gard then served in Vietnam (1968–69).[3] After returning from Vietnam, Gard was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1970–71), director of Human Resources Development for the U.S. Army (1971–72), commanding general of Fort Ord in California (1973–75), and commanding general of the U.S. Army Military Personnel Center (1975–77).[3] Gard's final military post was as president of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. (1977–81).[3] In 1981, Gard retired as a lieutenant general after 31 years of service.[3]

Post-Army career[edit | edit source]

After retiring from the Army, Gard served as visiting professor of international relations at the American University in Paris (1981–82), director of the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy (1982–87), and president of the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California (1987–98).[3] Since 1998, Gard has served as a Washington, D.C.-area consultant on international security.[3]

Gard is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of governors of the APEC Education Foundation; the boards of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; the board of trustees of Chapman Foundation and Veterans for America (formerly the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation); the board of advisors of the United Foundation for Chinese Orphans; and the board of visitors of the Defense Language Institute.[3]

Gard has written a number of published monographs, book chapters, academic journal articles, and newspaper op-eds.[3]

Gard has argued that the U.S. should ratify the Ottawa Treaty banning land mines,[4][5] and is an advocate for nuclear arms control measures, such as the New START treaty.[6][7]

Gard was a staunch critic of the Iraq War, speaking out against the war in 2007[8] and writing that 2013 that the war "has come to symbolize an era of American overreach and, to some, even hubris."[9] In 2008, Gard endorsed Barack Obama for president and criticized John McCain, writing that "McCain has adopted, promoted, and sustained the position of the so-called neo-conservatives and ultra-nationalists who believe that the United States should capitalize on American military superiority to spread democracy abroad."[10]

In 2006, Gard was one of 22 retired generals and admirals to sign an open letter urging President George W. Bush to fully implement the "McCain Amendment" banning the use of torture.[11] In F2014, Gard was also one of 31 retired generals and admirals to sign an open letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence urging them to vote to declassify and make public the committee's report on post-September 11 torture tactics used by the CIA.[12]

In 2012, Gard co-authored a CNN op-ed with fellow retired general John Johns, arguing for a cut in wasteful Pentagon spending.[13] Gard and John wrote: "Our leaders must have a serious debate about priorities: America needs political resolve to kill unnecessary and expensive projects."[13] The pair also wrote that "sadly, defense spending is driven by political interests, not necessity."[13] Gard and John specifically criticized Department of Defense plans to spend more than $700 billion on nuclear weapons over the next ten years (a program which the authors termed "based more on ideology than security") and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (the development of which, the authors pointed out, "has cost more than was spent on veterans in the last 20 years").[13]

Gard wrote a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing a proposed flag desecration amendment.[14]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "No-Value Missile Defense". TomPaine.com. http://www.tompaine.com/articles/novalue_missile_defense.php. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  2. Martell, P.; Hayes, G.P.; Dupuy, T.N. (1974). World Defence Who's who. Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 9780356080031. https://books.google.ca/books?id=5BkxAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Robert G. Gard, Jr., PhD CV, Arms Control Center.
  4. Robert G. Gard, Jr., Past Time to Join the Landmine Treaty, Huffington Post (May 25, 2011).
  5. Robert G. Gard, Jr., Disappointing U.S. Statement on Anti-Personnel Land Mines, Huffington Post (September 8, 2014).
  6. Robert G. Gard, Jr., Decrease Stockpiles, Increase Security, Huffington Post (August 6, 2009).
  7. Robert G. Gard, Jr., New START and the Obama Nuclear Agenda, Huffington Post (June 27, 2010).
  8. Retired Generals Robert Gard and John Johns Join Senator Harry Reid To Speak Out Against Iraq War, Council for a Livable World (April 16, 2007).
  9. Robert G. Gard, Jr., The End of Endless War?, Huffington Post (March 19, 2013).
  10. Robert G. Gard, Jr., Why I Won't Vote for John McCain, Huffington Post (October 28, 2008).
  11. 22 High-Level Retired Military Leaders and Human Rights First Urge President Bush to Fully Implement the McCain Amendment, Human Rights First (January 19, 2006).
  12. Retired Generals and Admirals Urge Senate Committee to Release CIA Torture Report, Human Rights First (February 25, 2015); see text of letter.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Robert G. Gard & John Johns, Generals: Get real and cut Pentagon spending, CNN (December 12, 2012).
  14. Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee from Retired General Robert G. Gard, Jr. Urging the Committee to Oppose the Proposed Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment, American Civil Liberties Union.

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