Small Wars Journal

McMaster Twofer Monday

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 10:22am

National Security Adviser to Make Rare Appearance Before Senate Armed Services Committee by Joe Gould, Defense News

President Trump’s national security adviser, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, will do something people in his job rarely do: appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

SASC Chairman John McCain confirmed McMaster will testify before the panel on Tuesday in a closed session. If McMaster was a civilian, he would not need Senate confirmation to become national security adviser. But because he opted to remain on active duty and retain his rank, he requires a Senate vote to be approved.

Asked about the hearing on Thursday, McCain told reporters there will be a question-and-answer session, but a low-key one, saying it’s “more of a meeting than a hearing.” Yet it comes at a loaded time for the National Security Council, with Capitol Hill charged with questions about Russian contacts with the administration, questions that led to the resignation of McMaster’s predecessor…

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McMaster Supports Trump's Goal to Defeat ISIS

When Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President’s Trump’s national security adviser, appeared at a Washington think tank last year, he asserted that the Islamic State terrorist group “can’t be contained.”

It was an assessment that on its face appeared to contradict the message from the commander in chief. Mr. Trump has made it clear that his top foreign policy objective is not to contain the Islamic State but to destroy it. Defense Secretary James Mattis has presented the plan in outline form.

If there is any field general best able to size up the terrorist threat, it is Mr. McMaster. He doggedly led soldiers on the ground in Iraq against the vicious al Qaeda in Iraq insurgency led by Abu Musab Zarqawi.

In tough street fighting, his soldiers secured the crossroads town of Tal Afar near the Syria border — the same critical juncture that U.S.-supported Iraqi forces are fighting over today.

“They are some of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth,” he told the Pentagon press conference back then. “There is no really greater pleasure for us than to kill or capture these particular individuals.”…

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