Donald Trump today chose Lt. Gen. In this case, he tapped an active-duty officer for a post that's sometimes used as a counterweight to the Pentagon.
McMaster, who has been described as a "blunt-spoken bulldog", joins Defense Secretary James Mattis, whose nickname is "Mad Dog", and Homeland Security head John Kelly, a "no-nonsense pragmatist", as one-time generals who have signed up to work in the Trump administration. He is viewed as soldier-scholar and creative thinker.
In his 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty, McMaster had boldly blasted the Joint Chiefs for their poor leadership during Vietnam.
Most of the National Security Council staff is composed of career professionals, often on loan from military or civilian agencies, and they have complained privately about being shut out of their areas of expertise and kept in the dark about important decisions.
Then a colonel, McMaster was commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment that in the spring of 2005 captured, held and began to stabilize Tal Afar on the Iraqi-Syrian border. He later served as a special advisor to the top U.S. commander in Iraq. The President spent the weekend searching for and interviewing possible replacements before selecting McMaster. McMaster is very likely to give Trump his best advice without any consideration as to alternative narratives that he considers to be less than truthful.
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His first choice to fill the job, Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned it down, citing family and financial reasons. However, the refusal was "purely a personal issue" for him.
"McMaster has a long record of challenging the status quo and standing up for what is right".
The president's selection of McMaster to succeed Michael Flynn, who resigned February 13 following revelations he misled administration officials about his contacts with a Russian envoy, sends a different signal to the intelligence and defense communities about his approach on foreign policy.
UPDATED with Trump tweet: If at first you don't succeed...
Sources familiar with the candidates' thinking said they both wanted control over staffing of their team, and Trump was reluctant to grant that authority. He has called his Florida Mar-a-Lago club the "Southern White House".
"That book today is a must read for all military officers and as a outcome he brings to the office that ability to stand up to the president if he thinks that he is wrong", he added.