Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster has been selected by President Trump to be the new National Security Advisor. The president has been interviewing new candidates for the position after former general Michael Flynn was forced to resign. Flynn resigned in the wake of reports that he had communications with Russian officials prior to Donald Trump taking office. Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg had been serving as the interim National Security Advisor, also known as the NSC advisor, while the Trump administration tried to decide who should be the permanent replacement. The White House had offered the position to retired Vice-Admiral Robert Harward last week, but the former Navy Seal turned down the offer. Harward himself cited personal obligations for refusing the role while some reports suggested that he wanted to bring in his own team. Regardless of the recent drama regarding the National Security Council, Lt. Gen. McMaster is now the president’s chief in-house advisor for national security issues.
Background & qualifications
The new National Security Advisor is a highly-decorated soldier and current Lt. General in the United States Army. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster is a graduate of West Point Military Academy who also received his Master of Arts & Ph.D. in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. McMaster is an experienced commander, having served in a variety of combat & development roles during the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, & Operation Enduring Freedom. The lifelong soldier earned a Silver Star during the Battle of 73 Easting, one of the largest tank battles since World War II that took place during the Gulf War. Lt. Gen. McMaster is also known for a unique willingness to provide honest criticism & innovative solutions regarding ill-advised policy. The clearest example of this approach is when McMaster challenged misguided methods during the Iraq War and his subsequent pioneering of successful strategies to combat the Iraqi insurgency. The general also wrote Dereliction of Duty, a critically-acclaimed analysis of the failure by high-ranking military officers to challenge the misguided strategy of American politicians during the Vietnam War.
Step in the right direction
After the controversial resignation of Flynn, it was integral that the Trump administration find a stellar replacement. The experienced & well-educated McMaster seems to be an excellent fit for the role. The disposition to challenge misguided political influences on military strategy will be crucial as McMaster guides the current administration. One positive sign, so far, is that the markets responded favorably to the selection of McMaster,
“U.S. equities kicked off Tuesday trading on the right foot, notching fresh record highs following a key naming by the Trump administration and corporate earnings.”
The nomination of Lt. Gen. McMaster is a sign that the White House is at least maintaining a semblance of functionality. Unfortunately for the American people, the executive branch selecting an uncompromised NSC advisor has become something to celebrate for US equity markets. President Trump, however, has clearly demonstrated that the White House is not the most cohesive political unit. Hopefully, the decorated general can provide the kind of well-founded insight that this administration desperately needs.