Following the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, speculation swirled about who President Trump would tap to replace him. Now, news is breaking that we have the answer.
President Trump has announced Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security advisor.
The move comes after former candidates Robert Harward and David Petraeus turned down the position. However, McMaster’s credentials are certainly worthy of the job. McMaster built a reputation battling the insurgency in Iraq:
“Then there’s H.R. McMaster. A blunt-spoken bulldog of a man who made his name as both a scholar and practitioner of counterinsurgency in Iraq, McMaster long looked like the classic Army maverick who did well on the battlefield but made too many enemies to rise past the rank of colonel.”McMaster has long been outspoken about the need to build up our military, aligning well with promises President Trump made on the campaign trail. McMaster spoke about the issue in a 2016 testimony to Congress: “We are out-ranged and out-gunned by many potential adversaries,” McMaster said, reports Breaking Defense. “[And] our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.”
At the time of his testimony, there were only 980,000 soldiers in the Army. The Army Times later reported that the Army is at its smallest size since before World War II.
“As we look to the future sir, we think that risk will become unacceptable,” McMaster told Senators. Even today, “we’re having a harder and harder time for the smaller force to keep pace with increasing demand.”
A veteran of the Gulf War, McMaster believes the lessons of that experience can be applied to today:
One of the key battles in the Persian Gulf War McMcaster participated in was the Battle of 73 Easting. He was a captain, commanding Eagle Troop of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Even though his group was outnumbered by the Iraqi forces, their nine tanks easily defeated the enemy’s forces because they were using outdated technology.
In an essay for The Strategy Bridge, McMaster admitted that future wars will look very different from this nearly three-decade-old battle, but it still has lessons for today’s commanders.
“Although future battles will likely be fought against more capable enemies and under more challenging and complex conditions, there are lessons from battlefield victories twenty-five years ago that remain relevant to combat readiness today and in the future,” McMaster wrote. “Well-trained, confident platoons and companies provide the foundation for our Army’s and Joint Force’s ability to fight.”
President Trump moved quickly to fill the vital role, and McMaster will be able to start off his duties immediately, as National Security Adviser nominees do not need to be confirmed by the Senate.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]