Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump's National Security Adviser, is a rarity on the White House staff—a genuine American hero with a distinguished combat career, who as a captain during the 1991 Gulf War, commanded Eagle Troop of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment at the storied Battle of 73 Easting and received the Silver Star for his conduct in that action.
Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey called McMaster "probably our best Brigadier General" and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Barno said of him, he's "the rarest of soldiers—one who has repeatedly bucked the system and survived to join its senior ranks."
McMaster also spent time the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, as a senior research associate with a mandate described as "conduct[ing] research to identify opportunities for improved multi-national cooperation and political-military integration in the areas of counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism, and state building," and to devise "better tactics to battle terrorism."
General McMaster has gotten good reviews from the Washington establishment for his role in the responsive strike on the Syrian airbase from which a chemical weapons attack was conducted, but this, in our estimation, is reflective of Obama-era thinking of "sending signals" with cruise missiles, not winning the war.
Within hours, Syrian aircraft were ostentatiously taking-off from the supposedly destroyed airbase, and Syria's massive chemical weapons complex remains untouched—despite Obama's many claims that Syria had surrendered its chemical and biological weapons.
As impressive as General McMaster's credentials as a warrior and military thinker are, as President Trump's national security adviser, he has somehow lost the narrative, especially on who, what and why we are fighting the war Islamists have declared on the West.
Bloomberg's Eli Lake reports that a major conflict developed between McMaster and Trump about the speech the president delivered at the end of February to a joint session of Congress.
According to Lake, McMaster pleaded with the president not to use phrase "radical Islamic terrorism." Even worse, he sent memos throughout the government complaining about a draft of that speech that included the phrase. But the phrase remained. When Trump delivered the speech, he echoed his campaign rhetoric by emphasizing each word: "Radical." "Islamic." "Terrorism."
This opposition to calling the enemy by its name reflects an allegiance to the failed Obama-era strategy that is remarkable both for its tone-deafness to the new commander-in-chief's thinking, and in the reality of the environment in which this existential war is being fought.
And, make no mistake, this is an existential war for the preservation of constitutional liberty and the values of the Western Enlightenment.
This is what our enemies in this war are fighting for, according to the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and largest radical Islamic terrorist organization:
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!"
The notion that Islam's war on the West is somehow divorced from religion is a folly that not even Muslim majority countries that value their own political and cultural stability will entertain.
That is why several U.S. allies—Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—have declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group; however, it is unfortunately no secret that General McMaster opposes President Trump joining them in making such a designation.
What's more, as the Holy Land Foundation trial showed, radical Islamic terrorist organizations are operating openly in the United States.
Indeed, the deposed Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, was recruited into the Muslim Brotherhood right here in the U.S., while a student in California.
General McMaster opposes calling radical Islamic terror by its name, and has the bad judgment to, according to Eli Lake, not give President Trump a chance to ask questions during briefings and at times has even lectured the president.
The Washington rumor mill says McMaster, for his part, has not enjoyed his role as national security adviser; an armor officer at heart, General McMaster is said to find the work of the national security adviser tedious and unrewarding.
Allegedly, President Trump and General McMaster are meeting today to discuss the chain-of-command and General McMaster's future at the White House. The work of the national security adviser is a different kind of combat, one at the civilization level, and a generations-long conflict, not the fire and maneuver that is General McMaster's specialty. If the rumored meeting with the president takes place, this would be a good time for General McMaster to leave the White House and return to the armor battlefield where he is so adept.
George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle and as spokesman for now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry. He has served as a staff member or consultant to some of America's most-recognized conservative political figures. He is a member of American MENSA and studied international relations at Worcester College, Oxford.
This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.com. Used with permission.
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