From Moon of Alabama:
McMaster’s best known book is “Dereliction of Duty” about the way the U.S. involved itself into the Vietnam War. McMaster criticizes the Generals of that time for not having resisted then President Johnson’s policies.
He is the main author of an Army study on how to militarily counter Russia. McMaster is likely to “resist” when President Trump orders him to pursue better relations with Moscow.
Trump has now been boxed in by hawkish, anti-Russian military in his cabinet and by a hawkish Vice-President. The only ally he still may have in the White House is his consigliere Steve Bannon. The next onslaught of the “serious people” is against Bennon and especially against his role in the NSC. It will only recede when he is fired.
It seems to me that Trump has been rolled with the attacks on Flynn and the insertion of McMaster into his inner circle. I wonder if he, and Bannon, recognize the same problematic development and have a strategy against it.
Currently, I’m going with the theory that Bannon knows some miraculous and arcane bit of Machiavellian statescraft based on hiring warmongers when you intend to foster peace.
From Take Me in the comments:
McMasters gave “acknowledgement” to his great friends and wise contributors in the forward of his book “Dereliction of Duty” to Fred and Kim KAGAN. Yes. Yes. The brother of Robert Kagan, husband of Cookies (aka fu*k the EU) Nuland.
For McMaster to champion Eisenhower’s JCS/NSC over the Kennedy’s efforts to de-escalate nuclear Armageddon, is indicative of a rabid aggressive warhawk perspective. The JCS wanted to actually invade Cuba, whether it risked war with the USSR or not.
Should he still hold these views … a bad choice indeed.
He is not as “anti-Russian” as it may seem. After all, Flynn himself had very little “love” for Russia and was merely a situational “ally”, who understood, correctly, operational and strategic limitations of US Armed Forces. Real situation in the US Armed Forces is not good, to put it mildly. 16 years and no tangible results, all wars are lost, the force is indeed “stretched thin”, which is a euphemism for being demoralized and ineffective. Moreover, in some crucial aspects of warfare, all those proverbial “offsets” and alleged technological “superiority” simply do not exist anymore. In some–the technological lag became insurmountable. So, there is a real problem with military which, from the US military-strategic point of view, must be addressed. Considering Trump being hellbent on attaining a full control of US foreign policy and Trump’s personality–it doesn’t really matter what degree of anti-Russianness Trump will get from his National Security Adviser. What Trump needs is a competent military man capable to explain to Trump limitations of US military power in order to adjust his foreign policy. McMaster is a competent man to do so–in this sense this appointment is a good thing and it really doesn’t matter if Tim Cotton or McCain approve of this appointment, anti-Russian sentiment was inevitable within US military because comparisons are not only irresistible but highly warranted, especially when they are done not just over the period of the last 15 or so years, but over last 70-80. Anti-Russian mantras today are more of a self-psychotherapy nature than of real desire to fight Russia. Everybody in both militaries understand everything by now, but that is a totally different story altogether. Once brand new Russian military doctrine was published couple of years ago–many pieces of puzzle fell into their places.
It appears Trump values expertise more than opinion.
From The Hague:
As it sunk in within the neophyte Trump Administration what a stupid thing Flynn had done, even before the Administration even had picked all its ducks– let alone set them all in a neat row on Iran policy– it became clear Flynn had to fall on his sword. The Russian Ambassador was useful deflection.
[W]hat Trump is helping to do by shedding light on the tactics of his opponents is going to bring change even if he himself can’t manage to do it. It is just a question of time.
America is boxed in, and the only way out of that box is through détente with Russia. Everything else leads to the national demise.
From The Hague:
Since the election campaign, certain themes have been clearly sounded: The nuclear deal with Iran was “bad” and new hostile sanctions are in order. Relations with Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud government must again become special Washington priority. Relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest financier of terrorism, must also be elevated. What has taken place in the four weeks since the inauguration?
Not a new policy, post-Flynn. What is taking place is a strategic pivot, as planned, to build a war coalition for US control of the oil and gas of the Middle East. It is not about “peace” in cooperation with Russia in Syria. Never was.