ByOn 02/20/17 AT 3:28 PM
President Donald Trump has ended the search for a replacement for Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, appointing Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to the role Monday. McMaster previously held a senior post with the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.
In announcing the decision while at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump called the 54-year-old McMaster “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.”
Pres Trump just announced that Army strategist Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will be his new National Security Advisor. pic.twitter.com/kFD0g2DWs0
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 20, 2017
The Trump administration had been on the lookout for a new National Security Adviser since Flynn was asked to resign last week after it emerged that he had misled Vice-President Mike Pence over the nature of conversations with Russian officials. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward was reportedly offered the post on Thursday but turned it down having been denied the chance to bring in his own team.
Trump also announced Monday that the man who had been in place as acting National Security Adviser, Keith Kellogg, who was also a candidate for the full-time position, will serve as chief of staff under McMaster.
“That combination is something very, very special,” Trump said of the duo.
McMaster is thought to have beaten off competition from former United Nations ambassador John Bolton to secure the post.
McMaster was regarded as a leading military strategist and came to prominence with the 1997 book “Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.” The book was a fierce critique of U.S. decision-making during the Vietnam War and the failure of high-ranking officers to sufficiently challenge Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson.
He has also been highly critical of U.S. policy in both Iraq and Afghanistan, calling the plans for both conflicts “essentially narcissistic” and “failing to account for interactions with determined enemies and other complicating variables.”
McMaster graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1984. He Went on to serve in Iraq, where his pioneering counterinsurgency strategy formed the basis for a successful change in approach installed by Gen. David Petraeus.