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20 February 2017


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SAC Brat

One more step closer to getting Marcus a cabinet position. I'll take the "stopped clock" moments as President Trump presents them.

Now for a Nicolas Sarkozy type quote from President Trump like "We shall clean the Capital with a Kärcher" and to start busting up rice bowls.

Master Slacker

Col Lang, I concur with your assessment. And for him to accept the position we can assume that Gen McMaster will have final say as to who sits at the table.


As I posted in another forum-

McMaster will provide some fresh focus and perspective. He is a man who has both led troops in battle and actually learned something when he read Clausewitz on employing those troops. I sincerely doubt he will be a thinktank yes man.


I can't imagine any better endorsement for a military man than high praise from PL. Thanks.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I am glad to see your opinion of him. From what I could learn, he appeared to be an outstanding officer. Above all, he does not appear to be part of the military establishment, and is known to speak the truth as he sees it.

A distinct plus for the Trump presidency!


A good man for the job: a historian, an innovator, and a man not afraid to speak the truth no matter who it angers.

Unfortunately, it looks like he will be stuck with Bannon and McFarland. So he is in for some backstabbing and bureaucratic dirty tricks. I believe he can handle it. But in any case I am looking forward to his next book: "Dereliction of Duty, Version Two".

robt willmann

At the University of North Carolina, by Herbert R. McMaster, Jr.: his dissertation in 1996, and possibly a Master's thesis in 1994, but only the location at the Davis Library--




A biography at Fort Benning--


And from the Hoover Institution--


robt willmann

The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, passed away in New York City--




For better or worse, John McCain is also a fan:

"I have had the honour of knowing him for many years and he is a man of genuine intellect, character and ability. He knows how to succeed. I give President Trump great credit for this decision, as well as his national security cabinet choices. I could not imagine a better, more capable national security team that the one we have right now."


mistah charley, ph.d.

Your confidence in him is encouraging, and I hope his service in this new position is marked by success.



I don't think McFarland is a big problem. She can be ignored. Bannon and McMaster will have an uneasy relationship. pl


FB Ali

Somewhat like Rickover he has been consistently promoted against the wishes of the members of the "Drones Club." pl


Has anyone read "Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam"? Any thoughts people would like to share on that? I finished "Embers of War" by Fredrik Logevall a few months back and am currently reading "After Tet" by Ronald Spector. I'm looking for reading suggestions on Vietnam it seems like McMaster's book should be the top of that list.



I generally do not read books about the VN Wars. Why should L? I lived ours. In spite of that I would say that a necessary book is Martin Windrow's book on the French defeat in Indochina. It sets the scene for our blundering efforts. McMaster singles out General Harold Johnson the CoS of the army at the time of LBJs fatal decision to intervene massively. Gen Johnson spoke to my Armed Forces Staff College class just after the war. He spoke to a class in which everyone was a combat veteran and a dozen had been PWs in NVN. At the Q&A one of my classmates asked how he could have accepted LBJS catastrophic decision to intervene without resigning in protest. He apologized to us all and said that he had made the terrible error of thinking that such moral and ethical gesture would be useless. pl


On the first try, not the fourth.

Stanley P.


General dissects U.S. approach to war in speech at USF

..."[T]he military-industrial complex may represent a greater threat to us than at any time in history”

The reason, said McMaster, is the jockeying for defense dollars, which mean money for communities and thus gain political support from politicians in those communities.

“And so where are these investments going in defense right now?” he asked. “They are going into areas that involve really big ticket items, that preserves the large capital transfer to defense industries and continue to bolster employment.”

McMaster, who said he is “not criticizing any element of this,” added another element to think about.

The military-industrial complex, he said, “involves increasingly as well think tanks, and when you see studies that are produced about the future of war or studies that are produced about certain aspects of defense strategy, you ought to look to see who is funding it.”

Without naming names, McMaster ticked off a few case studies of why he believes the funding of think tanks matters.

“There is a think tank now, for example, that’s about to publish a report on the future of the Army, and it’s bankrolled by a defense firm whose business model is the integration of high technology capabilities and selling them to the Department of Defense,” said McMaster. “What do you think that answer is going to be?”

McMaster, whose service is facing large personnel cuts, talked emotionally about another study that he said sees those in uniform as a detriment.

One think tank “dusted off the same study, adds a few robots, republishes it every few years and what it says is that personnel are a resource suck on the Department of Defense,” said McMaster, the volume of his voice increasing for emphasis. “People are a problem, man.”


Apparently he's not a "perfumed prince" and thus not likely to be another politician in uniform who sold his honor for stars - and a lucrative retirement payday in the defense industry.

ex-PFC Chuck

IIRC, quite a few people predicted that version one of his 1997 book would body-check his career. How did he get past that?


pl, given the articles about Bannon indicating he is an avid reader of military history and related topics they could get along well. Bannon has probably read McMaster's book. Bannon is a brainiac and does not suffer fools gladly... much like McMaster.

Who knows, maybe Bannon was instrumental in McMaster getting the job.

Lee A. Arnold

McMaster's appointment is very good news!


Robt Willman -

Churkin is the third Russian Ambassador to die in six weeks:
Malanin - Greece - 9 January 2017
Kadakin - India - 26 January 2017
Churkin - UN - 20 February 2017

Make that four in eight weeks if you count Karlov's assassination by the Turk policeman.


Long ago I knew an old admiral who sat on Rickover's promotion board. He felt letting him make flag was the worst mistake he ever made. Guess some early naval aviators were "drone" pioneers too.

FB Ali

What are McMaster's views on the US's far-flung military commitments, especially in the troubled Greater Middle East? (I have not read any of his writings).

I presume there is some concordance between them and President Trump's oft-stated desire to reduce America's foreign entanglements and concentrate on problems in the homeland.

scott s.

Since reading "Dereliction of Duty" years ago I have been following McMaster. Seems like a pretty smart guy, but he seems very land power-centric. Not sure he knows how a navy fits into the overall scheme of things.


LTG McMaster is a decorated combat vet. I tried to get more info on his actions that
earned him 2 bronze medals (perhaps with oak leaf clusters) & the silver star but couldn't find any info.

In any event he certainly has superior credentials; as a national security adviser
he so much more than Susan Rice or Val Jarrett, there's no comparison.

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