75 years of service to our nation


Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt, (retired)
Senior Fellow


Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt focuses on U.S. security issues in East Asia. He founded CNA's Strategic Studies division in 2000, and since stepping down as a Vice President in 2012 has been active as a Senior Fellow, leading several major projects related to maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas and China's ambition to become a "great" maritime power. He also developed a major project that analyzed significant security issues along the entire Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean littoral from a maritime perspective. His other expertise includes strategy, war planning and naval operations worldwide.

During his 34-year naval career, McDevitt held four at-sea commands, including command of an aircraft carrier battle group. He spent all of his operational time in the Pacific, including a two-year assignment in Sasebo, Japan. McDevitt was Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Fellow at the Naval War College and has been the Director of the East Asia Policy Office for the Secretary of Defense. He also served as the Director for Strategy, War Plans and Policy (J-5) for U.S. CINCPAC. McDevitt concluded his active-duty career as the Commandant of the National War College in Washington, D.C.

McDevitt holds an M.A. in American Diplomatic History from Georgetown University and a B.A. in U.S. History from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the National War College.


November 29, 2017

Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt says, "What vital US interest has been compromised? Shipping continues uninterrupted, the US continues to ignore their requirement for prior approval [of ops in their EEZ], our MDT with Manila remains in force [and] the Vietnamese are even more dug in on their 20 odd Spratly holdings."

Asia Maritime Reviews: "The Debate Regarding U.S. Navigation Policy in the South China Sea: Another Perspective"

October 16, 2017

Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt says "Between 1950 and 1953, the U.S. Air Force and Navy flattened North Korea."

The National Interest: "Should the U.S. Air Force Fear North Korea's Air Defense Networks?"

September 15, 2017

The National Interest quotes CNA Sr. Fellow RADM Michael McDevitt in "Could North Korea Shoot Down the U.S. Air Force in a War?"

September 2, 2017

The National Interest quotes CNA Sr. Fellow RADM Michael McDevitt in “Could America’s F-22, F-35, and B-2 Stealth Aircraft Crush North Korea in a War?”

July 31, 2017

CNA Sr. Fellow RADM Michael McDevitt spoke on a panel on “Developments in the South China Sea and Friction in U.S.-China Maritime Ties,” at the Institute for China-America Studies. Watch the panel here.

July 25, 2017

The National Interest quotes CNA Sr. Fellow RADM Michael McDevitt in “Russia and China Are Sending Their Navies to the Baltic Sea: Is a Formal Alliance Next?”