Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is no patsy of the Russians

President Trump's choice for his national security adviser is winning bipartisan support.  Unfortunately for the Democrats, he also vitiates one of their fantasy talking points against the president he serves.  In April of last year, Bryan Bender of Politico laid out the general's role in assessing and responding to threats from Russia:
[A] decade ago, McMaster fought a pitched battle inside the Pentagon for a new concept of warfare to address the threat from Islamist terrorists and insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq and other trouble spots. Now, his new mission is more focused. Target: Moscow.
POLITICO has learned that, following the stunning success of Russia's quasi-secret incursion into Ukraine, McMaster is quietly overseeing a high-level government panel intended to figure out how the Army should adapt to this Russian wake-up call. Partly, it is a tacit admission of failure on the part of the Army – and the U.S. government more broadly.
"It is clear that while our Army was engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russia studied U.S. capabilities and vulnerabilities and embarked on an ambitious and largely successful modernization effort," McMaster told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. "In Ukraine, for example, the combination of unmanned aerial systems and offensive cyber and advanced electronic warfare capabilities depict a high degree of technological sophistication."

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