“It’s so damn complex. If you ever think you have the solution to this, you’re wrong and you’re dangerous.”
― H.R. McMaster
John O. Sullivan
Regular readers of the Finest Bagels Blog will recall that about a week ago Tom posted another article in our running current-events series, which we’ve taken to calling Special Reports. Tom covered the controversy surrounding then-National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, and pondered the possible outcomes of Flynn’s actions and subsequent cover up. Tom ended the report with the conclusion that, Flynn’s actions, in a normal administration would have resulted in his immediate dismissal. While there was some attempts on the part of President Trump to blame the media for Flynn’s misguided adventures with the Russian Ambassador, ultimately the President would ask for his resignation. Leaving one of the most important positions that most American’s have never heard of unoccupied.
Yesterday, President Trump announced that he had chosen Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be the new National Security Adviser.
General McMaster was not the first choice. Obviously Michael Flynn came before him, and President Trump’s first second choice, Vice Admiral Robert Howard turned the job down. Though General McMaster was not the first choice, he is the right choice, and hopefully the last one.
LT General H.R. McMaster is everything we as Americans could possibly hope for in a Trump-administration National Security Adviser. He is a lifelong military man. He went to Valley Forge Military Academy for high school and earned a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant at West Point. He is also a combat veteran of both the Persian Gulf and Iraq Wars, and when he was just a Captain in the Persian Gulf he commanded the American forces in a battle that was later featured in a Discovery Channel special.
But all this military achievement doesn’t mean he’s a meathead. McMaster has a PhD in American History (the only history that matters) from the University of North Carolina. His thesis there was the eventual foundation for his book entitled Dereliction of Duty (that’s right, this guy wrote a book, he was also in one by Tom Clancy), in which he criticized President Johnson for making military decisions based on political goals rather than objective conditions. In the book he was also highly critical of top-ranking military officers for not standing up to Johnson and for allowing Johnson to conceal the truth from the American people. If LTGen. McMaster puts his words into action and speaks truth to power, the American people will be well served. I can hardly imagine a trait more needed in President Trump’s National Security Adviser.
He also showed he was not afraid to put doing what he believed to be right over following doctrine as a Colonel in the Iraq War. In the conflict, he used his forces to establish a series out outposts to facilitate finding and eliminating terror cells, rather than following the new doctrine of retreating to the cities and creating safe zones. This technique proved more effective than the ordered strategy, and was eventually adopted across the theatre when General Petraeus took command of the allied forces in the conflict.
McMaster is also known as a “futurist,” advocating for continued U.S. development of military technology to keep the armed forces on the cutting edge. He has also frequently spoken out on the dangers of cyber warfare and America’s vulnerability to cyberattack.
Though National Security Adviser does not require a Senate confirmation, Lt. Gen. McMaster plans to remain an active-duty officer in the role, which would require congressional approval. This is not unprecedented, and if approved, McMaster would be the fourth active duty officer to be National Security Adviser. This vote, however, is unlikely to be a major obstacle. Lt. Gen. McMasters is uniquely qualified to be the National Security Adviser, and has drawn praise from prominent U.S. Senators, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), and frequent Trump critic Sen. John McCain, both veterans themselves.
Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is a fantastic choice to be the next National Security Adviser. He brings with him a well-earned reputation for honesty, integrity, and independence, which is something the American people need from the Trump Administration more than ever. He has time and time again proven himself to be a brilliant forward-thinker, often two steps ahead of the rest of the game. Author, PhD, and decorated combat veteran, H.R. McMaster is the very model of a modern Major (Lieutenant) General.