Trump names Army strategist as new national security adviser

Daily News Article   —   Posted on February 21, 2017

“He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said of McMaster. “…He is highly respected by everybody in the military. And we’re very honored to have him.”

Trump made the President’s Day announcement from his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort seated on couch between McMaster and acting National Security Adviser Keith Kellogg.

Kellogg, a retired Lt. General in the Army, will stay on as chief of staff to the National Security Council.

“I think that combination is something very, very special,” Trump said of the two men who have known each other for years.

McMaster, 54, is a decorated career officer in the Army who holds a Ph.D in military history. He authored a critical book about the Vietnam War called “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.”

McMaster called his new position a “privilege.”

“I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people,” McMaster said.

Kellogg, 72, praised McMaster as a “great statesman” and a “great soldier.”

Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation a week ago, after he misinformed Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions.

Asked if Pence played a role in making McMaster National Security Advisor, Trump told reporters: “He did.”

…Over the weekend at Mar-a-lago Trump met with four candidates: McMaster, Kellogg, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton and West Point superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Caslen.

Trump said he was impressed with the candidates and he intends to offer a different role to Bolton, who was a staunch backer of the Iraq War. “We’ll be asking him to work with us in a somewhat different capacity,” Trump said.

McMaster is a decorated career Army officer who served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was captain of a great tank battle victory in the Gulf War known as the Battle of 73 Easting.

Since 2014, McMaster has served as Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, at the US Army Training and Doctrine Command.

In April, McMaster warned senators the US Army is too small and lacks modernization to keep up with the current threat level.

“We are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” McMaster said at a Senate subcommittee hearing, according to Breakingdefense .com. “[and] our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.” [See the video: McMaster’s testimony starts at 31:00]

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the New York Post.


*The National Security Advisor serves as a chief advisor to the President on national security issues. The National Security Advisor serves on the National Security Council and is assisted by staff that produces research, briefings, and intelligence reports.

The National Security Advisor’s office is in the White House, near the office of the President, and during a crisis operates from the White House Situation Room updating the President on the latest events.

The National Security Advisor is appointed by the President but not confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which protects the position to some degree from political controversy and partisanship. The role is not connected administratively to the Departments of State or Defense but offers independent advice, effectively creating a policy triad that the President may rely upon for advice. The National Security Advisor’s role and relative influence varies from administration to administration, and from advisor to advisor.

**Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism.

Of President Trump's choice of McMaster, Andrew Exum writes at theatlantic .com:

The president’s selection of H.R. McMaster to be his new national security advisor is unambiguously good news. The United States, and the world, are safer for his decision.

McMaster is one of the most talented officers the U.S. Army has ever produced. That sounds like hyperbole but isn’t. In the Gulf War, he led an armored cavalry troop. At the Battle of 73 Easting—a battle much studied since—his 12 tanks destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, 16 armored personnel carriers, and 30 trucks. In 23 minutes.

In the next Iraq war, he led a brigade in 2005 and was among the first U.S. commanders to think differently about the conflict and employ counterinsurgency tactics to pacify Tal Afar—one of the most wickedly complex cities in Iraq. He excelled at two different echelons of command in two very different wars.

In between, he earned his Ph.D. in history and wrote a best-selling book, Dereliction of Duty. ... One thing that stands out in the book is the way in which McMaster criticized the poorly disciplined national security decision-making process in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and especially the way in which the Kennedy administration made national-security decisions by a small group of confidants without a robust process to serve the president.

...McMaster comes to his job having carefully studied and criticized the national-security decision-making process for which he will now be responsible.

I have known McMaster for over a decade and cannot imagine a more decent man in his position today.