McMaster good pick for national security adviser

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, named by President Donald Trump to be his new national security adviser, has been described as “a prominent military strategist known as a creative thinker.” That is precisely what the nation needs.

McMaster replaces Gen. Mike Flynn, who lost his job because he was not candid with Vice President Mike Pence regarding a discussion with a Russian diplomat. There is no reason to believe McMaster will make the same mistake.

One indication Trump made the right choice was the reaction on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers of both parties expressed pleasure with the decision.

McMaster is an excellent pick for several reasons. One is that Trump’s foes have made much of his inexperience in both foreign and military affairs. Pointing to his outspokenness, they also warn darkly he may get the United States into military trouble. McMaster in the national security post does much to dispel such concerns.

On a practical basis, it would have been difficult to do better. McMaster can offer balanced, informed, calm guidance on threats to U.S. security.

Perhaps even more important, forward-looking intellect is just what the defense establishment needs. The Pentagon often is accused of preparing “to fight the last war” at a time when threats, weapons, tactics and strategies are changing dramatically. McMasters can help advise Trump in a manner calculated to have the United States prepared to fight the next war.

Sadly, both history and human nature make it clear that, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, there will be a next war.

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