Former U.S. National Security Ad​visor Brent Scowcroft at his office in Washington​, D.C., January 2001
Stuart Conway / Camera Press / Red​ux

Few officials in American history have played as influential a role in shaping U.S. foreign and national security policy over as long a time as did former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who died on August 6. Perhaps none has mentored as many young people (including me) who would go on to senior positions in government—an often overlooked dimension of Scowcroft’s rich legacy.

Scowcroft’s time as national security adviser under President George H. W. Bush, during the historic period from 1989 to 1993, is justly renowned. But to fully appreciate what he brought to what was his second stint

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