Published: Fri, February 24, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

A Better Choice for NatSec Advisor

A Better Choice for NatSec Advisor

Russian officials are already anxious that President Donald Trump's new national security advisor, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, could pose a threat to the Kremlin's interests.

Trump, McMaster and Kellogg ignored questions from reporters after the announcement, including over whether the new national security advisor would be allowed to hire his own staff. Sitting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach on Monday, McMaster said he will do "everything I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people".

Retired Col. Cedric Leighton called the book "one of the great works to come out of military thinkers in the last two decades".

If McMaster wants to remove Trump's controversial chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, Trump "would take that under serious consideration", Spicer said.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said this week McMaster will continue to be on active duty while serving as national security adviser.

The report stressed McMaster's potential switch-ups could put the Department of Homeland Security under his purview, and he could be granted complete access to the military and the country's intelligence agencies.

In brief remarks, McMaster said he was grateful for the opportunity.

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Mnuchin said the administration is "primarily focused on a middle income tax cut and a simplification for business". Mnuchin said the high rate "is some of the reason companies are leaving and cash is sitting offshore".

Flynn was asked to resign last week amid allegations that he discussed USA sanctions with a Russian official before Trump took office and then misrepresented the content of that conversation to Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials. He has a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina and has written extensively on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Current NSC spokesman Michael Anton said that although the full NSC - chaired by Trump - had not met since he became president, the deputies and principals committee had. When McMaster was a colonel, he led a Fort Carson unit of more than 5,000 soldiers through one of the post's successful deployments to Iraq.

The others were Kellogg, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While his lack of experience in politics could leave him without the skills to rally a fractured national security team left in the wake of Flynn's resignation, McMaster's reputation as a bold, outspoken critic could prove vital to the administration.

"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses", he wrote.

In his 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty, McMaster had boldly blasted the Joint Chiefs for their poor leadership during Vietnam.

The position of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation. Those who know him well say he is forthright and nobody's yes man. "The United States, and the world, are safer for his decision". He will need to do this for Donald Trump, whose instincts on Russian Federation and other topics will not reflect McMaster's, which are based on knowledge and experience.

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