|Former National Security Advisor|
From: February 20, 2017 – April 9, 2018
|Predecessor||Keith Kellogg (acting)|
Michael T. Flynn
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Service Years|| 1984–2018|
|Rank|| Lieutenant General|
|Battles/wars|| Persian Gulf War|
Battle of 73 Easting
Global War on Terrorism
War in Afghanistan
Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster (born July 24, 1962 (age 59)) was a U.S. Army officer who served as the National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump from February 2017 to April 2018. He is a liberal globalist and is thought to share the views of many Russophobes and, according to Politico, of the establishment analysis which ignored the motives of jihadists in order to please Barack Obama. He has supported the Obama Administration's narrative on Islam. Despite serving in the Trump Administration, observers, even those who have previously worked closely with McMaster, have noted that his worldview is incompatible with the conservative and nationalist worldview advocated by Trump during the 2016 election.
McMaster holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of North Carolina. His dissertation is a harsh criticism of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert McNamara, and the Joint Chiefs conduct of the Vietnam war. With a clear reference to Vietnam-era news reporting, McMaster answered punctiliously how journalists' thinking fits into strategic thinking after the Battle of Tal Afar in 2005, "body counts are completely irrelevant."
His dissertation was turned into a book, Dereliction of Duty, which was recommended and widely read in the Pentagon by the next generation of combat leaders. The New Yorker summarizes it saying, "[T]he Joint Chiefs of Staff, knowing that Johnson and McNamara wanted uncritical support rather than honest advice, and eager to protect their careers, went along with official lies and a split-the-difference strategy of gradual escalation that none of them thought could work."
Iraqi insurgency 2007–2008
- Main article: Troop surge
CBS News commented, "Aside from David Petraeus himself, probably the most celebrated soldier of the Iraq War has been Col. H.R. McMaster." From August 2007 to August 2008 McMaster was part of an "elite team of officers advising US commander," General Petraeus. Eurasia analyst Lauren Goodrich described McMaster as one of the chief architects behind CENTCOM strategy in the Iraq insurgency, and for Afghanistan and Syria.
Reforming counter-insurgency doctrine
From the time Baghdad fell in 2003, American leadership at the highest levels, beginning with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, were reluctant to admit an insurgency – an armed uprising against the new Baghdad regime – was taking place.
Traditional American counter-insurgency doctrine cuts deeply against the Army's institutional instincts which focus on combat operations. The most recent field manual at the time was two decades old, focusing on hunting people and an approach called “kill-capture,” similar to the "search and destroy" methods used in Vietnam. Ultimately there are more insurgents than when they started.
Counterinsurgency warfare is 20% military and 80% political, McMaster argues, using the classic doctrine developed by the British in Malaysia in the 1940s–50s. The focus of operations is on the civilian population: isolating residents from insurgents, providing security, building a police force, and allowing political and economic development to take place so that the government commands the allegiance of its citizens. A counterinsurgency strategy involves both offensive and defensive operations, but there is an emphasis on using the minimum amount of force necessary. From Iraq, McMaster collaborated remotely with Petraeus in Fort Leavenworth on a revision of the Army's Counterinsurgency Field Manual.
McMaster and his staff in field tried to teach soldiers to distinguish between nationalist-minded Sunnis and Salafi extremists, a distinction that, in the war's first two years, American soldiers were rarely able to make; they were simply trained to fight "bad guys."
The strategy focused on building an Iraqi nationalist identity of Muslims against takfiri, or Muslims who shed their Islamic identity. This Muslim unity call of Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, Sunni, and Shia, was intended to counter the Sunni-Shia divisions which spurred genocidal atrocities. This globalist approach to using Iraqi nationalism to strengthen Muslim unity, however, is not without critics.
McMaster's next assignment was to examine the roots of a growing insurgency in Afghanistan where he found a very different war. Lack of public support for the government of Hamid Karzai was predicated on corruption exacerbated by massive amounts of foreign aid dumped into the country. The abuse of official positions of power for personal gain, McMaster told interviewers, “is robbing Afghanistan of much-needed revenue, undermining rule of law, degrading the effectiveness of state institutions, and eroding popular confidence in the government.” The Wall Street Journal published an article saying that trying to stop corruption in Afghanistan is like trying to stop the tides. McMaster told the Journal that view is seen as “bigotry masquerading as cultural sensitivity.”
But why did the Taliban collapse so quickly in 2001, he asks. “The fundamental reason was that every Afghan was convinced of the inevitability of the Taliban’s defeat.”
National Security Advisor
President Donald Trump appointed McMaster as National Security Advisor on February 20, 2017, after the firing of Mike Flynn. Because McMaster was still on active duty in the Army, his appointment required the approval of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the full Senate. Upon his appointment he received a congratulatory tweet from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice:
- “Hope you will be able to choose your team, have direct reporting and daily access to POTUS, and can eliminate Strategic Initiatives Group.”
On June 11, 2017, Mike Cernovich reported that McMaster appointed Susan Rice's flunky Eric Ciaramella to be his personal aide. Ciaramella, a Deep State informant, would have unfettered access to McMaster's conversations with foreign leaders.
The Strategic Initiatives Group was headed by Steve Bannon, who was ousted from the National Security Council staff within weeks, and Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland's departure was announced days later. McMaster has allowed Susan Rice to maintain her security clearance. McMaster – despite President Trump's desire to do otherwise – either also kept Obama holdovers or hired liberal, globalist, and anti-Trump members to the NSC. He even promoted some Obama holdovers. At the same time, McMaster fired several pro-Trump NSC appointees, including Rich Higgins, who authored a memo stating that the deep state was waging a political war against the Trump Administration and that many people in the administration had pushed the president from his original conservative agenda. In light of conservative criticism of McMaster, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, along with RINO Senator John McCain, endorsed him.
McMaster used his first NSC meetings to tell his staff not to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism," and he likely influenced President Trump to stop calling Islamic terrorism what it is. He also reportedly was not friendly towards Israel with regard to policy. McMaster unsuccessfully urged Trump to refrain from verbally attacking the Communist totalitarian dictator of North Korean, Kim Jong-un.
McMaster and his NSC allies worked to undermine President Trump and his America First policies. This is illustrated by the administration's 2017 National Security Strategy, which replaced Trump's America First philosophy with a more conventional globalist agenda in several areas and was praised by globalist Council on Foreign Relations members. McMaster's purging of conservatives from the NSC also served to undermine Trump's policies.
McMaster left his position as National Security Advisor on April 9, 2018, and was replaced by John Bolton, who holds more conservative positions on issues such as nation building, sovereignty, and Islam.
McMaster joined the Hoover Institution after leaving the Trump Administration. In May 2019, McMaster criticized those he worked with inside the White House, implying President Trump's conservative appointees were "a danger to the Constitution," though he also reserved criticism for those who "cast themselves in the role of saving the country, even the world, from the president." In August 2019, McMaster criticized President Trump's decision to withdraw soldiers from northern Syria.
McMaster admires RINO Senator John McCain. When McCain criticized the Trump Administration for a perceived lack of transparency, McMaster said that "it hurt my feelings" and that he "loves" McCain. He praised McCain upon his death.
In December 2017, McMaster admitted that Trump's foreign policy "has moved a lot of us out of our comfort zone, me included."
McMaster does not believe that Islamic terrorism is actually Islamic. McMaster endorsed a 2010 book by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein which called Hamas an "Islamist political group" rather than a terrorist group, which labeled al-Qaida and anti-Israel attacks as "resistance," and which called for apology ceremonies if a U.S. soldier "desecrated" the Quran along with punishing the desecrator. At a speech at National Defense University in August 2014, McMaster reportedly claimed that "the Islamic State is not Islamic."
At his first NSC meetings, McMaster told his staff not to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism," and he used several other occasions to claim that Islamic terrorists were not really Islamic.
At an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on October 10, 2017, McMaster referred to the September 11, 2001 attacks as "mass murder attacks" and avoided acknowledging that they were Islamic terrorist attacks. McMaster used the same wording about a month later, though he also called it "Islamist or Takfiri or Salafi-Jihadist ideology."
In an interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace broadcast on December 3, 2017, McMaster stated that Islamic terrorists really are "irreligious criminals who use a perverted" version of "religion." On December 20 of that year, McMaster repeated his claim that Islamic terrorists are "irreligious."
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), a conservative and pro-Israel organization analyzed McMaster in 2017 and found that he holds anti-Israel positions and is a threat to President Trump's conservative, America First foreign policy agenda. ZOA stood by its criticisms of McMaster even after other Trump Administration officials urged it to change its position, and it noted that McMaster was supported by anti-Israel groups.
McMaster served for 11 years on the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a think tank based in the United Kingdom which is financed by Boeing and other businesses doing business in Iran, along with George Soros-funded organizations. The IISS has called on President Trump to pursue a softer stance on dealing with Iran, including by keeping the Iran nuclear deal. McMaster himself supports the Iran Deal and opposes President Trump's desire to do away with it. He purged the National Security Council of anti-Iran hardliners.
McMaster promoted a "compromise" plan of action on the Iran Deal intended to appease President Trump but that would keep the United States in the deal. When meeting with Democrat Senators on the future of the Iran Deal, McMaster told them that he was not the one they needed to convince the deal was good, and the senators left thinking McMaster did not support leaving it.
Conservatism vs. globalism and global governance
- See also: War on Sovereignty
H.R. McMaster is a globalist who belongs to organizations opposed to President Trump's America First agenda. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a liberal globalist organization – which Hillary Clinton admitted influenced her decisionmaking – that supports doing away with American sovereignty and replace it with a global government. McMaster also is a "Senior Research Associate" for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which takes globalist positions.
Despite pushing his own globalist and establishment views in the Trump Administration, McMaster has criticized conservatives such as Steve Bannon for pushing "narrow" agendas. McMaster, however, admitted that those "narrow" agendas "may" have been President Trump's own agenda.
- McCants, Williams (February 23, 2017). McMaster Has the Islamophobes Worried. Good. Politico Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- Spencer, Robert (March 28, 2018). Why It’s Good News That McMaster Is Out and Bolton Is In. PJ Media. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
- Davis, Daniel L. (September 28, 2017). Is H. R. McMaster's Worldview Compatible with the President's? The National Interest. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (October 5, 2017). McMaster vs. Trump: Embattled Adviser Reportedly Hinted to Top Democrats He Opposes President’s Iran Deal Policy. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- Spiering, Charlie (August 3, 2017). H.R. McMaster Promised Susan Rice She Could Keep Security Clearance in Secret Letter. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- Schachtel, Jordan (July 27, 2017). McMaster declares war on Trump loyalists, continues NSC purge. Conservative Review. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Steinberg, David (September 12, 2017). EXCLUSIVE: Gen. McMaster Sparked a Row With the Israeli Delegation at a White House Meeting on Hezbollah. PJ Media. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Schachtel, Jordan (May 15, 2017). NSC official blames Netanyahu for ‘inciting’ Palestinian terror. Conservative Review. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Newman, Alex (August 4, 2017). Globalist McMaster Purges Trump Loyalists, Protects Obamaites. The New American. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Wong, Kristina (August 15, 2017). EXCLUSIVE–Inside General McMaster’s Purge: How National Security Adviser Eliminated Trump Loyalists. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Pappas, Alex (August 2, 2017). McMaster ousts another National Security Council aide. Fox News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Wong, Kristina (August 12, 2017). McMaster ‘Detonated’ Over Memo that Warned of Political Warfare Effort Against Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Gertz, Bill (August 11, 2017). Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Nazarian, Adelle (August 10, 2017). CAIR Defends H.R. McMaster, Claims ‘Islamophobes, White Supremacists’ Behind Effort to Remove Him. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- Shaw, Adam (August 16, 2017). John McCain Backs Embattled H.R. McMaster, Gets Dinged by Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Ackerman, Spencer (February 25, 2017). Trump national security adviser wants to avoid term 'radical Islamic terrorism', sources say. The Guardian. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Riehl, Dan (September 13, 2017). Gaffney Blames H. R. McMaster for Trump Not Calling out ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ by Name. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Wong, Kristina (September 26, 2017). Report: McMaster ‘Chuckled Dismissively’ About Trump’s North Korea Tweets. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Jasper, William F. (December 29, 2017). Deep State Boasts: We’re Sabotaging Trump From the Inside. The New American. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- Jasper, William F. (January 2, 2018). The McMaster Cabal: Lead Operatives in the Deep State Coup Effort to Oust Trump. The New American. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Manchester, Julia (July 1, 2018). McMaster to join Hoover Institution, take on 'infected' national security discourse. The Hill. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- Morgan, Wesley (May 8, 2019). McMaster blasts former colleagues as 'danger to the Constitution'. Politico. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Daugherty, Owen (May 8, 2019). McMaster accuses some in White House of being a 'danger to the Constitution'. The Hill. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- Multiple references:
- Kheel, Rebecca (October 10, 2019). McMaster calls Trump's Syria decision 'unfortunate'. The Hill. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Read, Russ (October 10, 2019). 'Unfortunate': McMaster criticizes Trump's Syria troop withdrawal. Washington Examiner. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Delk, Josh (October 19, 2017). McMaster: McCain criticism 'hurt my feelings'. The Hill. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- Samuels, Brett (August 30, 2018). McMaster: McCain's legacy should 'bring Americans together'. The Hill. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Delk, Josh (December 28, 2017). McMaster: Trump's foreign policy approach is out of my 'comfort zone'. The Hill. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (March 16, 2018). Klein: Six Lowlights from Globalist, Pro-Islamist H.R. McMaster’s Career. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- Klein, Aaron (August 15, 2017). VIDEO – H.R. McMaster: Muslim Terrorist Groups Are ‘Really Un-Islamic,’ ‘Irreligious’. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (August 18, 2017). H.R. McMaster-Endorsed Book Calls Jihad Peaceful, Al-Qaida Terrorism ‘Resistance’. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (August 20, 2017). H.R. McMaster Endorsed Book That Advocates Quran-Kissing Apology Ceremonies. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (October 12, 2017). Shock: H.R. McMaster Calls 9/11 ‘Mass Murder Attack’ — No Mention of Islamic Terrorism. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (November 3, 2017). H.R. McMaster Avoids Islamic Terrorist Label Again, Calls Manhattan Jihadist a ‘Mass Murderer’. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, 11/2/2017, #31. The White House. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- H.R. McMaster talks North Korea threat, Michael Flynn deal. Fox News Video. Retrieved December 3, 2017. Statement starts at 5:56.
- Klein, Aaron (December 20, 2017). H.R. McMaster Does It Again: Calls Islamic Terrorism ‘Irreligious’. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (August 9, 2017). Exclusive –Zionist Organization of America Analysis Determines McMaster Hostile to Trump, Calls for Reassignment. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Hull, Christopher C. (August 11, 2017). Report On McMaster Proves Fired Staffer Right. The Daily Caller. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Shaw, Adam (August 14, 2017). Zionist Organization of America Doubles Down on Criticism of Under-Fire H.R. McMaster. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Shaw, Adam (August 16, 2017). Zionist Organization of America Triples Down: H.R. McMaster Backed by ‘Left-Wing Israel Bashers’. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (September 15, 2017). H.R. McMaster Served 11 Years on Think Tank Financed by Boeing, Which Inked Billions in Iran Deals. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (September 16, 2017). H.R. McMaster’s Former Think Tank to Trump: Stop the ‘Adversarial Atmosphere’ With Iran. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (October 3, 2017). H.R. McMaster’s Former Think Tank: Trump Has ‘No Grounds’ for Refusing to Certify Iran Deal. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
- McMaster Pushes Cohen-Watnick, Iran Hard-Linder, Out at NSC. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
- Hayward, John (October 12, 2017). Report: McMaster Crafts ‘Compromise’ to Keep Iran Deal While Placating ‘Furious’ Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Bash, Dana (October 6, 2017). Senate Dems sense McMaster not sold on decertifying Iran deal. CNN. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
- Newman, Alex (February 25, 2017). Some of Trump's Picks Have Troubling Links to Globalism, CFR. The New American. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- Newman, Alex (June 2, 2017). Top Trump Officials Attend Globalist Bilderberg Summit. Why? The New American. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Wong, Kristina (September 17, 2017). McMaster Bashes Steve Bannon, Says He Had ‘Narrow’ Agenda Different from Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Savransky, Rebecca (September 17, 2017). [McMaster Bashes Steve Bannon, Says He Had ‘Narrow’ Agenda Different from Trump McMaster dodges on Bannon question: Administration better off when we 'can serve the president']. The Hill. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Weber, Joseph (September 17, 2017). McMaster: Trump better without Bannon, others who pushed their ‘own narrow agendas’. Fox News. Retrieved September 17, 2017.