Tag Archives: H.R. McMaster

Another prime al-Qaeda target emerges

Welcome to the world of most wanted public enemies, young man.

I refer to the son of Osama bin Laden, a fellow named Hamza bin Laden, a 28-year-old terrorist with visions of walking along his late father’s blood-soaked trail.

The young bin Laden has declared that he wants to rekindle al-Qaeda as a terrorist force, a force for evil.

OK, then. Here’s a thought for Donald Trump’s national security team.

You’ve got a professed killer on the loose with the stated aim of juicing up a bloodthirsty terrorist organization. That means he has declared himself to be an enemy of the United States of America.
What does this mean? It means the young man is fair game. He’s a target for our special ops forces, our CIA spooks and those who might be close to him who could help guide our personnel toward a hit in the manner of the mission that took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

The president has a first-rate national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, on the job. His homeland security secretary, John Kelly, also is a competent former Marine general. They have the best military apparatus ever assembled at their disposal; indeed, former Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis has emerged as a serious-minded secretary of defense. They also have the best intelligence-gatherers available to them as well — no matter what the president might think of them.

Let’s get busy and find this guy.

I think they ought to commence — if they haven’t already — a “search and destroy” mission to rid the world of Osama bin Laden’s son.

Good hunting. We’ll await your report.

‘Awful … but lawful’

A friend of mine asks whether Donald J. Trump has is perhaps guilty of being “treasonous” or “galactically stupid” if reports of what he allegedly did while visiting with Russian dignitaries turns out to be true.

I’ll stick with galactically stupid, although it’s a close call.

Media are reporting that the president revealed some highly classified/sensitive national security information to the Russian foreign minister and that country’s ambassador to the United States while they were calling on him in the Oval Office.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster — one of the few grownups comprising the president’s inner circle — offered a brief statement that said the story “as reported is false.” He said the president didn’t divulge any operational strategies. End of story … McMaster said.

Then the president fired up his Twitter account this morning and declared he was within his right as president to say what he said to his Russian guests.

I’m going to stick with what I heard National Public Radio’s Maura Liasson say this morning about what the president did. She said it falls into the “awful … but lawful” category of misdeeds.

Remember how candidate Trump pounded Hillary Clinton relentlessly over her use of a personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state? Do you remember the chants he invoked at his rallies: Lock ‘er up!”?

What do you know? The president might have supplanted Hillary in the careless and reckless realm of irresponsibility.

He likely didn’t break any laws, given that as president of the United States, he can declassify information merely by stating it in an unsecure context. If you or I were to do such a thing, we’d be arrested, cuffed, thrown into a cell and likely would spend the rest of our lives behind bars. Hey, rank has its privileges, you know?

The Washington Post and the New York Times are all over this story. The Post broke it Monday night and observers have been clamoring all over creation about how — if true — the president has endangered the trust that our allies have in sharing valuable security information with the United States of America.

Trump is about to fly to Saudi Arabia, Israel and The Vatican for his first overseas trip as president. What do you suppose the Saudis and Israelis will tell him about their plans to combat the Islamic State? What do you think they’ll feel safe telling him — even though none of this latest explosive news has been proven beyond a doubt? My gut tells me they will keep their knowledge of ISIS activities and their plans to fight the terrorists to themselves.

What the heck. Another week awaits. More drama is sure to erupt. Let’s all stay tuned and watch as this circus act takes wing.

McMaster earns his, um, stripes as security adviser

H.R. McMaster wears three stars on his epaulets as a U.S. Army lieutenant general.

But he has earned some additional stripes as Donald Trump’s national security adviser in the wake of the Tomahawk missile strike ordered against Syrian military targets.

That’s the word from those who know these things.

I have to concur that after an initial major misstep in selecting another Army three-star — Michael Flynn — as national security adviser, the president has aligned himself with a serious pro in H.R. McMaster.

McMaster shows his clout

Gen. McMaster reportedly conducted serious meetings with senior National Security Council staff and lined up all the players on what should occur with regard to the strike.

I get that the results of the strike are being debate in its aftermath. It was seen as a “pin prick” against the Syrian military force. Its aim was to disable the base from which Syrians launched that terrible chemical weapon attack against civilians; the strike apparently didn’t do the job.

Still, one has to think the president chose well by securing McMaster as the man who provides critical national security advice to the commander in chief.

McMaster must face a daunting challenge, though, as he provides the president the advice he needs. He must be able to persuade the Big Man to think strategically, to ponder the consequences of his actions and to develop a thorough and comprehensive long-term plan to assert U.S. power when it’s deemed necessary.

Have at it, Gen. McMaster.

McMaster: right man for national security adviser

Some of us thought Michael Flynn was a bad choice for national security adviser from the get-go.

He had called Islam a “cancer” and that Americans’ fear of Muslims was justified. Then the retired Army lieutenant general reportedly lied to the vice president about the nature of some talks he had with Russian government agents during the 2016 presidential campaign.

If you’ll forgive the chest-thumping, here’s what I wrote in early December.


He got the boot from the president.

Now we have another Army three-star, H.R. McMaster, coming in to be the national security adviser. He’s a renowned military scholar and deep thinker who says, among other things, that Russia is a pre-eminent threat and that our war against terror shouldn’t morph into a war against Islam.

I feel significantly better about this guy than I did about his immediate predecessor.

I believe Donald Trump has chosen well in filling this highly critical staff post.

Even critics of the president, such as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, speak highly of McMaster. Indeed, McCain speaks well of the president’s national security team. McCain added that he “could not imagine a better, more capable national security team than the one we have right now.”

The question I will continue to have is whether the new national security adviser will be able to provide unfettered, unfiltered and unambiguous advice to Trump — without the influence of senior political strategist Steve Bannon, who Trump has installed as a member of the National Security Council principals committee.

A lot of sharp military minds believe Bannon’s role on that panel is a huge mistake. One of them, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, said the NSC’s principals committee must be absolutely clear of politics; Bannon’s presence there, Mullen said, politicizes it egregiously.

McMaster reportedly received assurances from the president that he’ll be able to hire the staff he wants and will be allowed to proceed in the manner in which the adviser must proceed. He will have full and complete access to the president and will be able to give him the assessment he needs about national security threats.

The Flynn story is far from over.

However, the national security team now appears to have added a valuable new member to help protect Americans against our nation’s enemies.