Benedict Arnold Revisited
There is a deep gulf in National Security Policy between the White House and the National Security Agency under H.R. McMaster. That gulf is undermining the President’s ability to carry out his foreign policy agenda and is hurting the United States in our relations with other nations.
The numerous reports about McMaster indicate his unwillingness to refer to “Islamic Radical Jihadism,” a sore spot for the President who made that phrase a centerpiece of his campaign. McMaster has tried to fire people close to the President including K.T. McFarland, Sebastian Gorka and others who have the confidence of the President.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick a senior NSC official, hired by Michael Flynn, has been removed by McMaster, despite the fact that the President wanted him retained. This purge by McMaster is part of a major confrontation between the loyalists to the President and Obama holdovers with McMaster at the top of that list. The reports coming out of the White House that McMaster is carrying out his policy intent to keep the old bureaucrats in power at the expense of those who support this President. It might be said that McMaster is plugging the drain in the swamp that the President is trying to empty.
Rich Higgins was a director of senior planning in the NSC strategic planning office. The insubordination by McMaster was evident in this case when Higgins was fired in July without the President even being informed of this fact.
Derek Harvey was and opposed the Iran deal. He held the position of Senior Middle East Director at the NSC. He was fired by McMaster more than a week ago.
McMaster was made a 3-star general during the Obama administration with the impetus coming from General Petraeus. He was rewarded for his support for the Obama foreign policy (such as it was) and remained in favor through that administration.
It was clear, as Mr. Gaffney points out, that if there were proper vetting of McMaster, he never would have been appointed to the position closest to the President when it comes to foreign policy.
McMaster has actually allowed Susan Rice to have clearance and access to classified documents, in spite of her lies on 5 television networks after Benghazi and her refusal to testify about the unmasking she did as National Security Advisor. Unmasking Americans is a criminal act and this needs to be investigated far more than any alleged collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia which has become a fantasy.
McMaster is undermining the President on every foreign policy issue supported by the Commander-in-Chief and has created deep frustration on the part of the President who wants a solution to the Afghan War from his military leaders. Whether it is Syria, Iran, Iraq or other hot spots, McMaster has tried to undermine the President.
Specifically, the battle between the swamp dwellers and Trump loyalists is rearing itself in the Paris Climate Accord as well as whether to end the Iran deal, how to confront Islamic Radical Jihadism and what to do about the Cuba deal made by Obama. The President has already modified that arrangement but is there more to come?
Over the next two weeks, McMaster is going to phase out officials supporting the President, as insiders are reporting. This is a dangerous overstepping of his authority, since the people McMaster intends to remove are people who were put in their positions to carry out the President’s policies as articulated during the campaign.
This has become a volatile issue as to whether McMaster should be removed by the President, at whose pleasure he serves. Those who were fired opposed the Iran deal and wanted it scrapped. That may be why they are gone. McMaster seems to want to maintain the Obama approach and this contradicts what this President vocally endorsed during the campaign. And, isn’t it interesting that several leading voices at the NSC who opposed the Iran deal have been fired by McMaster?
A troubling element of the McMaster purge is the obedience to his views of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Secretary Tillerson said only last week that we are not the enemies of North Korea, we want to work with them, and sit at the table to discuss our issues. What!!!
Who in their right mind, much less a President, would sit at a table with this uncontrollable lunatic, Kim Jung Il? What does Tillerson mean that we are not North Korea’s enemies? He is threatening his own region and now the United States with long-range ICBM’s, able to deliver nuclear weapons within a year or less.
This is not what the United States foreign policy needs or wants. Tillerson is apparently out of his league. McMaster has no doubt been the influence that is encroaching on the President’s authority and is now embracing Rex Tillerson. This cancer must be complete cut out and that means H.R. McMaster must go.