Daniel McAdams: Trump’s NSC Pick McMaster Is a Major Hawk

Earlier today, President Trump selected Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his National Security Advisor, replacing the short-lived Gen. Michael Flynn. Those breathing a sigh of relief that the rumored favorite John Bolton didn’t get the nod may want to hold that thought – and their breath. McMaster is not the man to guide President Trump toward better relations with Russia and less US interference in the internal affairs of others.

In fact, he believes the opposite.

In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies just last May, Gen. McMaster blamed the lack of sufficient US military presence overseas for what he calls a more aggressive Russian geostrategic posturing.

Said the General:

Even though it may have been apparent, at least since 2008, that Russia was changing its geostrategic behavior and engaging in…probing, probing at the far reaches of American power, our strategic response was to accelerate our withdrawal of…army forces from Europe. And what we’re seeing now is we’ve awakened to obviously this threat from Russia who is waging limited war for limited objectives. Annexing Crimea. Invading Ukraine. At zero cost. And consolidating gains over that territory, and portraying the reaction by us and partners as escalatory. … What is required is forward deterrence. To be able to ratchet up the cost at the frontier.

The General also made the completely fallacious assertion that Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. Even the highly critical if not overtly anti-Russia European Union concluded that Georgia was to blame for launching an ill-advised attack on Russian peacekeeping forces that were part of an international mission in South Ossetia.

Does this sound like someone who is going to work to help President Trump improve relations with Russia?

No wonder neocons Max Boot and Sen. John McCain are absolutely thrilled with Trump’s choice of McMaster to be National Security Advisor.

Sen. McCain, who just returned from attacking President Trump at the Munich Security Conference for not being harder on Russia, said today that McMaster:

…knows how to succeed. I give President Trump great credit for this decision, as well as his national security cabinet choices. I could not imagine a better, more capable national security team than the one we have right now.

Max Boot had a similar reaction:

H.R. McMaster is one of the most impressive army officers of his generation—a rare combination of soldier and scholar.

McMaster’s claim to fame was the 1997 Dereliction of Duty, which is billed as a brave attack on the mistake of the Vietnam war, but was in fact largely focused on the failure to devote enough resources to actually winning the war – a typical neocon critique of failed military interventions.

Is McMaster a worse choice than John Bolton? Perhaps. Whereas Bolton would have been under the microscope, McMaster may just be able, due to his military history, be able to avoid close scrutiny.

Whatever the case, McMaster is all about conflict with Russia. Will his boss keep him in check?

Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

  • antiwar7

    Bummer!

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  • Luchorpan

    McMaster is absolutely better than Bolton.

    The article above basically divides candidates into two categories: 1. Antiwar Purist 2. Neocon.

    I happen to fit into group 1. However, McMaster is not all bad.

    As cult leader Justin Raimondo recently tweeted: https://twitter.com/JustinRaimondo/status/833848121633300480

    So, there is reason for hope, or at least for a sigh of some relief.

    • BrotherJonah

      “The Lack of American Military Presence” bit is a quote from McMaster.

      It really does represent a huge danger. Not the lack of soldiers, there’s 3 million US active duty and reserve military. Not counting the militarized police state. The danger is in the notion that we need MORE active occupations around the world.

      • Luchorpan

        It is a danger. I agree. Trump’s presidency will be a disaster if he gets involved in too much war.

        And the militarisation of the police is also concerning. Also the 4th Amendment violations, other Constitutional violations which law schools justify nowadays.

        I was hoping Trump would pick Philip Giraldi.

        It’s essential that one follow Raimondo though, because he always picks out the positives from Trump, gives reason to hope.

        What’s especially frightening is who might replace Trump in 2020. We might get a reaction against Trump if he is a disaster, and that could be dangerous, going even further with the same abuses but symbolically opposing him.

  • BrotherJonah

    Will Donald keep himself in check? He’s the one person in Amerikkka who could stop the blatantly racist attempted conquest of the Hun’papah Sioux reservation by Standing Rock. Bismarck, a mostly white town, got bypassed at their insistence. And for the exact reason as Standing Rock. Instead he and his confederate accomplices are threatening a U.S. Mercenary Military takeover.

    And that’s just one. There’s no evidence that he has divested “his EARNINGS” directly from the subsidized DAPL project, Even if he had divested he has the prior Government Welfare profits. Blood Money, fresh from the field. yummy yum yum. And that’s a sovereign nation surrounded on all sides by the taken-at-government-expense U.S. territory.

    Neither of the birds of a feather should be in any position of power, especially one that can write blank checks either for money or blood.

    They just don’t inspire a calm and contemplative attitude within my soul.

    Maybe they should be invited to the imnipi? A sweat lodge ceremony might be really good for them and for their potential victims, worldwide but starting right here in amerikkka. And they would be safe in the imnipi, Except from whatever demonic tendencies they bring into it.

    • In times like these, I miss Russel Means. We need an AIM revival now more than ever.

  • Don

    It’s an opportunity for Raimondo to write something nice about McCain in his next article. Justin must understand that McCain has some good in him if he says something nice about Trump!
    And after all, McCain is a Republican so he must have gotten a bad rap?

    • Luchorpan

      Raimondo praised Obama when Obama won as antiwar candidate. Personally I agree that Obama is better than McCain. I voted Constitution Party, but I would have voted Obama over McCain had I lived in a swing state.

      And when Trump became the relative antiwar candidate, Raimondo became supportive of Trump.

      If any remember, Raimondo was originally critical of Trump. Then he became anti-anti-Trump; anti-anti-Sanders. It took time for him to finally warm up to Trump.

      He’s following some Rothbard strategy of adapting to the political situation to promote antiwar ends. It makes sense to me.

  • Sounds like the spooks who squealed on Flynn got exactly what they wanted. Way to roll over, Trump. Go ahead and let those swamp things have their way with you and maybe they’ll let you play president for another four years.

    • Luchorpan

      I want to see how things play out before condemning Trump.

      China seems to want to discuss N. Korea now, which shocked me. So, maybe Trump has some plan.

      As for Chinese islands, my inclination is he should leave them alone.

      • BrotherJonah

        The empire is overstretched. If the R. Pauls, pere et fil, want to be the ones to do this, and it’s a tattoo on the breast of the beast, a target with the words “insert dagger here”.

        The SOUTH Dakota police who have been “volunteering” more like “volunteered by their commanders” at Standing Rock, aren’t being paid. Not by their supposed masters.The DAPL, with their half a trillion in assets, aren’t paying their mercenaries.

        The PRO pipeline yellow journalists let slip that “donations for the SD sheriff’s deputies who have been repeatedly deployed to Standing Rock” , supposedly to protect tho people of North Dakota, are trickling in. That’s right, the minions of the largest oil-money conspiracy of thieves are Begging The Middle Class of America for funds that their Masters should have just lying around in their desk drawers. We The People have been asked to bail out the Richest Corporate bastards in all of history. Spain at the height of their Conquista didn’t control so much of the world economy.

        Given a math equation that works for just about any system, the Mandelbrot Root Set, If it’s happening to essentially the same organization as North Korea and South China Sea aggressors, meaning US as in U.S. have stubbed their toes. On a Rock that’s standing on South and North Dakota.

        That’s a lot of analogies and alliteration all in one place. I haven’t had my coffee, sage and bear root yet this morning.

        The Army and Police have supposedly got a “ragged band of holdouts” and they’re supposedly graciously giving them an opportunity to surrender. That’s a bluff. If there were only a couple of hundred people standing in their way, they would have no problem taking them out. An empty ultimatum.

        So the Army should negotiate their own surrender. We’ll give them better terms than they offered us.

        • Luchorpan

          I haven’t been following the pipeline battle. I certainly don’t like the idea that Amerindian land isn’t sovereign.

          I had assumed the pipeline good only because trains are the alternative, Trump promised to build it with US steel which is supposedly stronger than most Chinese steel pipes, and the area the pipe goes through already has many pipes.

          Trains are of course more dangerous for carrying oil than are pipes.

          However, I heard claim that a very high volume of oil would need to move through the pipe to make it feasible. And to support such high volume, prices would need to increase.

          I do like the idea of greater energy independence if such results in fewer foreign intervention.

          Anyway, best of luck. Big business (including big oil) and big government are the two evils of our time.