Chitra Ragavan

General James L. Jones

Ep. 60 — How history, geography, lineage, and duty converged to shape this retired four-star General’s decorated career / James L. Jones, Commandant, United States Marine Corps, Commander, United States European Command, Former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, & Chairman, Jones Group International.

It was by no means pre-ordained but perhaps it was inevitable. Born in 1943, the son of a Marine in WWII, in a family of Marines, and spending his early childhood and formative years in France, inspired James L. Jones to join the United States Marines Corps, where he spent a distinguished four-decade career — retiring from the Marine Corps on February 1 as a decorated four-star general. 
It’s a real honor to speak with my guest this week, General James Jones, who during his military career, served as Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commander, United States European Command, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe. 
Upon his retirement, Jones served as Chairman of the Congressional Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq and later as Special Envoy for Middle East security. President Barack Obama then invited Jones to serve as his National Security Advisor. In that capacity, Gen. Jones had the rare opportunity to see then-Prime Minister, now-President, Vladimir Putin, up close and personal. 
In this fascinating wide-ranging narrative, Jones describes how over breakfast with him and President Obama in July 2009, Putin shared his litany of grievances that Jones believes have shaped the Russian leader’s hostility and aggression towards NATO and towards Ukraine, with an imminent threat to invade that country, potentially triggering a global conflict. Jones now leads a global strategic advisory firm, Jones Group International, based here in the Washington DC area. I know you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did and will find it both highly informative and relevant given Putin’s potential invasion of Ukraine.