Douglas Lute

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Douglas Lute
Douglas Lute 2013.JPG
21st United States Permanent Representative to NATO
In office
September 3, 2013 – January 20, 2017
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Ivo Daalder
Succeeded by Kay Bailey Hutchison
Personal details
Born (1952-11-03) November 3, 1952 (age 65)
Michigan City, Indiana, U.S.
Spouse(s) Jane Holl
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Harvard University
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Awards Defense Superior Service Medal (4)
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal

Douglas Edward Lute (born November 3, 1952) is a U.S. public servant who served as the United States Permanent Representative to NATO from 2013 to 2017. He was nominated for the post by President Obama on May 23, 2013, and assumed his position on September 3, 2013.[1]

Lute is a retired United States Army lieutenant general.

On May 15, 2007, Lute was appointed by George W. Bush to serve as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times referred to him as the "War Czar", since he occupied a senior advisory position responsible for overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.[2] He was asked to stay on by new President Barack Obama as Obama's Special Assistant and Senior Coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan.[3] After leaving active duty in 2010, Lute remained in his position at the National Security Staff. He is married to Jane Holl Lute, who was the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013.


Lute was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on November 3, 1952. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975. His first assignment was to the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bindlach, Germany, where he commanded C Troop. He earned a MPA degree from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in 1983 and taught in the Department of Social Science at West Point.

Second Cavalry[edit]

Following attendance at the British Army Staff College, he returned to the Second Cavalry as operations officer, serving both at the squadron and regimental levels. In 1990–91 he deployed and fought with the regiment in Operation Desert Storm, and later served on the staff of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.


Lute commanded 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1992–94. He then served on the Joint Staff in the J-5 Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy, and held a War College Fellowship at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.

Lt. Gen. Lute and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Mark Kimmitt conduct a press briefing, February 9, 2007.

From 1998 to 2000 he commanded the Second Cavalry Regiment, part of XVIII Airborne Corps, at Fort Polk, Louisiana. In 2001, he was appointed brigadier general.[4] He served next as the executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for 14 months before joining the 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany, as the Assistant Division Commander (Support). He commanded Multinational Brigade East in Kosovo for six months in 2002 before being assigned to United States European Command in January 2003 as the Deputy Director of Operations.

In June 2004, Lute began more than two years as Director of Operations (J-3) at United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), during which he oversaw combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other operations in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa. He was appointed to the rank of major general in 2004,[5] and to the rank of lieutenant general in 2006.[6] He assumed the duties of Director of Operations, the Joint Staff, in September 2006.

National security[edit]

On June 28, 2007, the Senate confirmed Lute to serve as the Deputy National Security Advisor. He remained in the position after his retirement from active duty in 2010.[7]

On 10 August 2007, Lute stated that the United States should "consider" reinstating the military draft to relieve the "stressed" volunteer service from multiple tours of duty.[8] This was immediately followed by a comment that it would be a major policy shift and that he did not see a current need for a draft.[9]

Awards and decorations[edit]

During his military career he received:[10]


  1. ^ Press statement from the White House, Office of the Press Secretary, May 23, 2013
  2. ^ "Bush picks Gen. Lute to "war czar" for Iraq". Reuters. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2007. 
  3. ^ Cooper, Helene (2009-01-13). "War Czar for Bush to Keep His Job". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  4. ^ "Flag and General Officer Announcements". DefenseLink. May 22, 2001. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  5. ^ "Flag and General Officer Announcements". DefenseLink. October 29, 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  6. ^ "General Officer Announcement". DefenseLink. July 19, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  7. ^ "Obama may pick Lute for European command". The Washington Post. February 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  8. ^ "Iraq war czar: Consider a draft". Associated Press. August 10, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  9. ^ Liberal Lobby Lacks Context Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 2012-03-01.
  10. ^ Archived July 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ivo Daalder
United States Ambassador to NATO
Succeeded by
Kay Bailey Hutchison