The Honorable Stephen J. Hadley was the 21st U.S. assistant to the president for national security affairs (commonly referred to as national security advisor), serving under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009. He is currently a principal at RiceHadleyGates, LLC. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Hadley was the assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor under then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Hand-Off details the Bush administration’s national security and foreign policy as described at the time in then-classified Transition Memoranda prepared by the National Security Council experts who advised President Bush. Thirty of these Transition Memoranda, newly declassified and here made public for the first time, provide a detailed, comprehensive, and first-hand look at the foreign policy the Bush administration turned over to President Obama. In a postscript to each memorandum, these same experts now in hindsight take a remarkably self- critical look at that Bush foreign policy legacy after more than a dozen years of watching subsequent administrations attempt to deal with the same vexing agenda of threats and opportunities—China, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, terrorism, proliferation, cyber, pandemics, and climate change—an agenda that still dominates America’s national security and foreign policy.