President Trump said Monday that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster — a noted writer and intellectual who once headed up a unit dedicated to anticipating future military challenges — will be his new national security adviser, replacing the dismissed Michael Flynn.
“You’re going to do a great job,” Trump told McMaster as he made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
Trump also announced that Keith Kellogg — who had been the acting national security in the week since Flynn was fired — would be McMaster’s chief of staff.
McMaster, described by Trump as “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” is the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, an internal think tank that looks at future threats and how to deal with them. He is also Deputy Commanding General, Futures, at the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.
Thanking Trump for the appointment that does not require Senate confirmation, McMaster told reporters that “I would just like to say what a privilege it is to be able to continue serving our nation. I’m grateful to you for that opportunity, and I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people.”
Kellogg also thanked Trump, and said he is “very honored and privileged to serve alongside with H.R. McMaster, … He’s a great statesman, a great Sargent.”
McMaster, viewed as one of the Army’s leading intellects, holds a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is a decorated combat veteran whose innovative leadership in counterinsurgency helped secure the restive city of Tal Afar in Iraq from Sunni insurgents in 2005.
McMaster, a protege of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is also a noted author.
His 1997 book on the Vietnam War — Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam — has been required reading for many national security officials.
McMaster has been calling for a larger and better-equipped Army to face growing threats to national security. The Army, until plans were announced recently to grow the ranks, has been shedding soldiers.
The new national security adviser warned the Senate in testimony last year that the Army had shrunk its ranks too far and lacked the new weaponry it needed to keep pace with U.S. enemies. It been “outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” he told a panel of the Armed Services Committee in April.
Advanced weapons mean the Army’s main armored vehicles, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and Abrams tank, “will soon be obsolete,” he said. The Army has no plans to replace either vehicle.