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Trump Picks Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser

Trump Picks Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser

Post opened after Michael Flynn resigned last week.

President Donald Trump has picked U.S. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser. Acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg will remain as chief of staff to the National Security Council:

“I think that combination is something very, very special,” Trump said of the pair.

McMaster is a career Army officer.

He is currently Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

He was previously commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

At his current job, McMaster has reviewed and analyzed ways that the U.S. and the military can act “against future threats.” Last April, he told Congress of the consequences the nation faces if lawmakers slash the defense budget:

“We are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” McMaster said. “[And] our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.”

Fox News continues:

He joined the Army in 1984 and distinguished himself seven years later during the Gulf War in what would become known as the Battle of 73 Easting. As captain of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Eagle Troop, McMaster led a force of just nine tanks that took out more than 80 Iraqi Republican Guard tanks and armored vehicles.

He is the author of the 1997 book, “Dereliction of Duty,” which criticized the U.S. government’s handling of the Vietnam War.

Last week, Michael Flynn resigned from the post after he came under fire over his contacts with Russian officials. Reports emerged that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about talks he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions former President Barack Obama passed against Russia due to interference with our election.

Pence went on Sunday talk shows to defend Flynn and insisted the advisor never spoke with the ambassador about the sanctions.


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From what I’ve read, he’s a good choice.

I’ve heard of the Battle of 73 Easting; I don’t think we will go wrong with a tank commander that brilliant being in charge of strategy.

    Ragspierre in reply to Tom Servo. | February 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Except he won’t “be in charge of strategy”. He’ll be an advisor to T-rump. And we’ll see about THAT…

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Jacobin Rags for allowing me to make a point about McMaster since you are still in pain from your favorite candidate Hillary losing.

      How about you offer some objectivity to the conservation instead of bias opinion that lacks facts.

      Can you answer what is his experience with ISR and will it help in his role?

      Instead of showing your disdain toward Trump since you man lost, why not ask the question of why McMaster made Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

      If Cruz would have won (which I doubted he would have) the only change we would have would be what was left in our pockets from Obama.

      He looks like a good swamp drainer, something Rags is against.

A smart man and a real war hero. What’s not to like?

Ok, he does not have a Bolton mustache, but that’s okay.

I read a lot about Gen. McMaster during the Iraq war, written from the perspective of NCOs as well as strategists.

I can’t think of a better pick.

With the possible exceptions of Chao and Flynn, Trump’s choices for cabinet and other high level positions have been nothing but first rate.

Hold yer horses on thinking this is a good pick. When Robert Spencer says something about Islam, I listen.

RS has serious misgivings about this guy,

    MarkSmith in reply to fscarn. | February 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    It is an interesting post. His background seems like a change agent. Not sure if Spencer is taking things out of context and he kinda indicates that in the article, but he seems to be leaning strongly against him.

    He can’t be any worst than Petraeus. I seem to agree with McMaster on Vietnam from the reviews I read about him. His conflicts with others in the swamp seems to make him more of a swamp drainer than a swamp dweller. Wished Spencer would have explain his position better than what was said by an “anonymous source”

    Old0311 in reply to fscarn. | February 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Rattlesnake or pit viper, cut off it’s head it’s just as dead.
    I like that he recognizes Vietnam was a clusterf*ck.

    Flyover Conservative in reply to fscarn. | February 20, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    H.R. is a great pick. The right combination of intellect, moral courage, perspective and honor in serving all of us in this role. He will be one who’ll give sound, unfiltered advice to CinC.

Were Sandy Berger or Susan Rice “in charge of strategy”?

Have any of you down-thumbing morons ever served in uniform?

Who is actually “in charge of strategy?

    Walker Evans in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    In the broadest terms, the President “is in charge of” strategy; everyone below him deals in tactics. Of course that is very, very broad, as strategic planning is a function shared by many people other than POTUS, although the final decisions rest with him. And he often “farms it out” to military personnel, although again the final decisions are his. Conversely, tactics are the purview of senior military thinkers; when Presidents start meddling in tactics we end up with quagmires like Vietnam, and Iraq after 2008.

    And yes, I wore the uniform of this country for over 20 years. Most people even consider my IQ at least somewhat above the “moron” level, even though I have been known to give you a thumbs-down when I believe you deserve it. As noted before, you often use much too broad a brush, and resort to epithets when people disagree with your opinions. You really should try to work on that; it makes your reasoned and reasonable posts less likely to be taken as thoughtful, intelligent converse.

      Ragspierre in reply to Walker Evans. | February 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Did you agree or disagree with the proposition that McMaster “would be in charge of strategy”?

      Did you agree or disagree with my pointing out that, no, he will not?

      IF you did not down-thumb my comment, I was not addressing you.

      Was I?

        Tom Servo in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        It was just a figure of speech, geez louise. Of course the President is technically “in charge” of everything, and of course for a working relationship in which all details will necessarily remain secret from the public, we will never know for sure where ideas are coming from, not even 30 years from now when all the competing books are out and they all lay blame and credit for what happened on a dizzying cast of characters.

        The only real point was that, from his record, he appears to be an improvement on Flynn, and a better pick then Harward.

Ha Ha Ha, that is funny.

Sandy Berger (anti Vietnam McGoven Hack) or Susan Rice (foreign policy aide to Michael Dukakis) Clinton cronnie comparisons to McMaster background.

Or is it just “strategy” that you take issue with? Gives some facts or move on. I doubt you will bet your old record of 30+ thumbs downs on this one, but I know you will not disappoint.

practicalconservative | February 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Can McMaster still be in the military and hold this office?

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to practicalconservative. | February 20, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    It’s not like Secretary of Defense. It’s neither a civilian not a militar position. A person can be in the military and still be National Secrity Advoser, or on the staff. Colin Powell was still in the military when he was National Security Adviser from November 23, 1987 to January 20, 1989 and a little after that he became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

McMaster was my first choice, way ahead of Flynn.

I don’t think Trump cares that much about NS Advisor

I think he’s just gonna throw out a sop to the pearl clutchers at this point.

McMaster was entertaining on the History Channel but seriously folks, yo gramma coulda won Easting. Three fourths of the Iraqi cans were empty.

Personally, I wouldn’t take much advice from anyone who thinks Islam isn’t an enemy but Vlad is.

And Rags is still butt hurt over Joseph Walker.

    Flyover Conservative in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    And you’re clueless as to who H.R. McMaster is and even less so as to what happened at the Battle of 73 Easting and the events that led up to the location of that fight.

      He was up against nothing.

      You think he’d kill 80 Russian tanks if they were manned and commanded by Russians?

      Easting was just another 1st World vs 3rd World turkey shoot.

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

        Nobody claims 80 tanks. It was 80 armored vehicles.

        And the Iraqi tanks came with Soviet armored doctrine and military advisors. Some of the best of both equipment (just behind current wave Soviet armor) and tactics were in that fight, with a lot of tanks in defilade.

        Flyover Conservative in reply to bildung. | February 21, 2017 at 8:33 am

        I think he’s more than established his military cred beginning with the 1st Gulf War, his action in the second while 3ACR Cdr and subsequent military assignments. Quite the intellect too through his education and writings. Just the sort of person well suited for NSA. A generational leap above the likes of Susan Rice…..

        davod in reply to bildung. | February 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

        Yes. Because the Iraqi’s were well trained and using Russian tactics. It was the speed of the attack and the tactics which beat the Iraqis.

          Ragspierre in reply to davod. | February 21, 2017 at 9:05 am

          And vastly superior equipment and fighting doctrine, including imaging and comms. The M1-A1 was designed to kill multiple Soviet tanks from a stand-off distance that would give them a chance to get that done.

          Nothing I’ve read deals with this, but it would be interesting to know if Americans were jamming Iraqi radio frequencies.

          Flyover Conservative in reply to davod. | February 21, 2017 at 11:08 am

          There was no on the ground jamming of radio frequencies where 2nd Cav engaged the Tawakalna Division of the RG. The first part of the fight actually began in a sandstorm.

McMaster is a brilliant choice based on everything I read. From the man who created and helped implement the strategies behind Patraeus efforts to his work at the battle of 73 easting he seems like a striking non-yes man deep thinker … “dereliction of duty” indicted the JC of Staff for failure to properly advise the presidents they served.

Guy seems like a better pick than Flynn.

“McMaster made Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.”

I admire McMaster. However, my first thought when you mentioned Time was, well he did write a book critical of the US in Vietnam.

    Tom Servo in reply to davod. | February 21, 2017 at 9:49 am

    And his criticism was original, at least in print, and very very good, with lessons for the future. He laid the dysfunction at the heart of the American war effort at the feet of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the mid-60’s, said all of the infighting and indecisiveness that eventually doomed our effort there started right at the top.

    I think his primary point was that intelligent, effective, and decisive leadership at the very top of the Military would never have let such a debacle play out the way it did.

Chuck Horner said flatly, of the Iraqi military, including the RG: ‘They’re no damned good’

To compare McMaster to Patton, who fought the world’s preeminent army, armed with Tiger tanks diverted from the Eastern front, is simply farcical.

buckeyeminuteman | February 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Can an active duty military member besides the chiefs of staff hold a Cabinet level position? I understand if he was retired like Flynn or Mattis, but still active?

    Flyover Conservative in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | February 21, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Yes. In fact, Colin Powell was Reagan’s NSA before becoming CJCS under Bush 41

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | February 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Does his advice outweigh that of the CJCS, who outranks him? As a military member, is he allowed to speak publicly about his own ideas and discuss things of a political nature? It just seems like a conflict of interest even if it has been done before.

      Nobody’s advice carries any more weight than the POTUS is prone to give it.

      There’s ample evidence that past NSAs were primarily just political hacks who know spit about actual security issues.

      There’s even more evidence that past POTUS overlooked good counsel from NSAs in deference to other voices.

      I doubt McMasters feels he knows zip about political matters, and cares less.