National security adviser: McMaster a big upgrade from Flynn

The Trump administration had been on the lookout for a new National Security Adviser since Flynn was asked to resign last week after it emerged that he had misled Vice-President Mike Pence over the nature of conversations with Russian officials.

Trump also announced that Keith Kellogg - who had been the acting national security in the week since Flynn was sacked - would be McMaster's chief of staff.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on February 20, 2017. In 1997, McMaster wrote a book critical of the Vietnam War, called Dereliction of Duty, which outlines how Lyndon B. Johnson's obsessions with deference and leaks led the United States to deepen that conflict.

Trump's first choice for a replacement, retired Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned the position down. This operation was already underway when President Trump took office.

But Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee and sometimes-Trump critic, offered a quick endorsement of his selection, calling him "an outstanding choice for national security adviser". Remaining willing to reexamine strategies and plans is a key attribute for the national security adviser.

McMaster commanded troops in both American wars in Iraq - in 1991, when he fought in a storied tank battle known as the Battle for 73 Easting, and again in 2005-2006 in one of the most violent periods of the insurgency that developed after the US-led invasion in 2003.

A week after Michael Flynn's abrupt fall from grace, President Trump will smooth things over with a national security adviser that at least some people can agree on.

McMaster, 54, is a West Point graduate known as "H.R.", with a USA history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Quite possibly the single most talented three-star [general] in the US military today".

McMaster, 54, is a West Point graduate known as "H.R.", with a PhD in US history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. McMaster has said the Kremlin carried out a "land grab". McMaster's academic streak is just one of the traits that paints him in stark contrast to Flynn, who is widely regarded as ideologically driven, particularly by anti-Islamic sentiment.

And while McMaster's military bearing might work well for him with Trump, Goodson said he was unsure of how it might play with other members of the administration where "some of them", like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "are billionaires".

  • Leroy Wright