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20 February 2017


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The dissertation should be available through dissertation microfilms in Ann Arbor, MI or in electronic form in the "private internet" of academia via dissertation abstracts database.


Respected Colonel,
What kinds of dedicated ethics courses are required in the armed forces academies and for what curriculum tracks? I know the graduate Naval academy at Monterey runs very short conflict resolution week-long intensives on occassion, but how about semester-length courses at Annapolis, WP, etc?



I suggest you consult the on-line catalogs for these institutions. pl



An Oak leaf cluster indicates a second award of the same decoration. pl



There was considerable discussion between noteworthy civilians and GW Bush concerning the need to promote McMaster to BG. Promotion lists that come to the CinC from the Pentagon are only recommendations. He can alter them at will. Thank God. pl


Most of what I have read today about McMasters been glowing with praise. There was some negative commentary though. I am wondering what the SST readers think about the following the following propositions:

1) McMasters may have difficulty in a management role because he only has three stars and a lot of the people he will be dealing with have four stars.

2) The fact that he has no experience outside of the military may be a limitation on his potential job performance.

3) He apparently gave a speech in which he said the Islamic State wasn't Islamic.


Coincidence? I think not.

Actually 5 dead on foreign soil since Nov 2015…

4 dead Russian Diplomats in 3 months http://theduran.com/4-dead-russian-diplomats-in-3-months/
–LESIN First there was Russia’s RT founder and special adviser to President Putin, Mikhail Lesin. He died in November of 2015 in his hotel room. Reports said that he appeared discombobulated during his last sighting before he died. Later it emerged that he died of a blunt head trauma. Drinking was blamed, but many questions were left unanswered.

–MALANIN Earlier last month, Andrei Malanin, a Senior Russian Diplomat to Greece was found dead in his bathroom. The causes of death remain unknown.

–KADAKIN Just last month, Russia’s Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, an always prestigious role, died of a heart attack, although no one was aware of any previous health issues.

–KARLOV In December of last year Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by a lone jihadi gunmen in an art gallery.  There was no effective security as the killer simply walked up to Ambassador Andrei Karlov and shot him multiple times in the back.

–CHURKIN Vitaly Chirkin is the highest profile member of Russia’s diplomatic corps to die in recent years.

BREAKING: Ukraine blocks commemorative resolution for Vitaly Churkin at the UN http://theduran.com/breaking-ukraine-blocks-commemorative-resolution-vitaly-churkin-un/



Almighty God does not promote people in the US military. It is a simple matter for the president to give him another star if that is indicated. Some civilians think that military officers live in an isolated world in which they go to rifle ranges, play golf and bridge and wait to be promoted. In fact most officers spend most of their lives dealing with the interagency and Congress. Officers above the rank of major typically have at least one advanced degree and are better educated than the typical Foreign Service officer in the State Department who generally have a bachelor's degree. pl


And what will McCain say if this "dream team" pull the deal of this century with a rapprochement with Russia?



Churkin was a trusted and capable "aide". He is known to have heart problems. I think Putin will miss him. He represented Russia very well at the UN.


Some good news on the Russian front... didn't see anything about this meeting in Baku in the MSM.

First sign of a thaw? US and Russian top military chiefs meet in Baku http://theduran.com/first-sign-of-thaw-top-us-russian-military-chiefs-meet-in-baku/
The meeting that has attracted the most attention is inevitably the meeting in Bonn, Germany between US Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.  However possibly the more important meeting is the one in Baku, Azerbaijan between General Joe Dunford, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the Russian military’s General Staff. There is inevitably very little information about the Dunford-Gerasimov meeting.

... Dunford’s meeting with Gerasimov however represents the first direct meeting between the two senior officers of the world’s two greatest military powers for some time.  In an interview for Politico back in October Dunford disclosed that the initiative for the meeting had come from him, and that he had been pressing for a meeting with Gerasimov for months.

... Following the change in administration and the appointment as Defense Secretary of James Mattis – like Dunford a Marine General – Dunford has finally been given the green light, making it possible for the meeting with Gerasimov at last to take place.  Judging by what Dunford said to Politico in October, and the Defense Department’s statement about the meeting, the purpose of the meeting will be to establish a ‘hot line’ between the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and the Russian General Staff in Moscow.
That will allow the uniformed military in both countries to start talking to each other.

‘No US boots on the ground’ in Syria, US military assures Russia http://theduran.com/us-military-assures-russia-no-us-boots-ground-syria/
It seems that the meeting – the first between the US and Russian militaries held at this level since January 2014 (ie. since before the Ukrainian crisis became international) – took place in a cordial atmosphere.  Kommersant says that Gerasimov was unfazed by the rhetoric coming from US Defense Secretary Mattis.  Clearly Gerasimov read it – correctly – as public posturing of no significance.

However one topic the Russians did bring up, which it turns out has caused them serious worry, is the question of reported US plans to send ground troops to Syria.Press reports have been circulating over the last few days that the US is considering sending ground troops to Syria.  It seems Gerasimov warned Dunford that this would be profoundly destabilising, and that he also warned Dunford against doing it.

Kommersant says that in response Dunford reassured Gerasimov that there are in fact no plans to deploy US ground troops to Syria.


I think the problem is well understood by those in the know. We get very poor value for the money spent. Russia probably spends a tenth of what we do and seem to have good weapon systems that compare well to ours.


Colonel, Do you think the McMaster choice will impact policy towards Russia or Syria?


The Twisted Genius


For your third point, I'm thrilled he thinks that. He recognizes the Islamic State for the vile, murdering thugs they are rather than Flynn's idea that all Muslims are the spawn of Satan.

robt willmann

FB Ali,

Here is a speech by McMaster from 2014 made on Veteran's Day, for that occasion--


He appeared with Zbigniew Brzezinski to talk about the Iraq war in a 2013 presentation on the C-Span television network, for around an hour--


robt willmann

Valissa, mike,

Also, Sergei Krivov, who worked at the Russian Consulate in New York City, was found dead on election day last year, 2016--



What concerns about McMaster is this:

Flynn was a dove on Russia, McMaster is a feverish hawk on Russia.
Flynn talking with Russia, following his boss' policies, got him kicked out. The demand came from Pence.
McMaster is a Petraeus protege. Allegedly Petraeus flew to Washington to head the promotion board to get McMaster his first star.
Neocon Tom Cotton was the politician that had pressed for McMaster at the White House.
Wasn't Petraeus also sold as a wunderkind scholar-warrior?
McMaster seems to tend to argue and act independently. He will not follow the policy (and orders?) his boss sets.

I don't know McMaster's real qualification.

But to me it looks, and as a European I am afraid, that Trump got rolled by the anti-Russian neocons in this whole charade.



Absolute bullshit. Stop staring at your navel in the mirror and wait to see how he performs. To describe him as a Petraeus protégé is a distortion of the man's history. Petraeus actually did not want to promote him or any of the other scholar warriors who had emerge in Iraq. Most of them he did not promote. His ego got in the way of that. pl



I do. pl

Sam Peralta

IMO, the fact that neither Petraeus nor Bolton got the job says something.


One of the many reasons that I like McMaster is that he went to see the president wearing just his personal decorations. Just those six and not the full 22 (or 24?) ribbons that he rates. I agree and applaud him for that. Why should flag officers with wear an entire chestful of fruit salad, seven or eight rows high, that they accumulated over 30-plus years of service? To impress the troops and the civilians? By not following that custom it shows to me that McMaster is not trying to be a grandstander. He will impress with his work and his intellect and not with showmanship.



robt willmann & Valissa -

I personally do not believe there is any connection between those deaths other than advanced age and perhaps a love of vodka.

But I bet Lavrov is constantly looking over his shoulder for Turks and/or Ukrainians.


General David Petraeus is adding H.R. McMaster (at left) to his Afghanistan team where he will be in charge of planning.
Despite his success, McMaster was passed over for Brigadier General the first time he became eligible for promotion, and according to Army lore, the only reason he made it on the second try was that Petraeus sat on the promotion board. Petraeus, who at the time was commander in Iraq, came all the way back to Washington to sit on the board.
Earlier Petraeus had hand-selected McMaster for his staff in Iraq. I find nothing about even the slightest enmity between them.


Plus the Russian representative to Nato. ..Was killed in Belgium.

Patrick Bahzad


Although I'm usually cautious when I hear praise like "best officer in his generation" (we have all heard this sales pitch before), I truly believe McMaster is the real deal when it comes to a military professional who is also a real thinker AND a man of true integrity.

There are a number of topics McMaster was quite vocal about, like "warrior ethos" and "fallacies in the understanding of war", that have also been touched on here on SST. This is a good thing I suppose, both for SST and McMaster !

Hopefully, he will get enough breathing space to do the job the way he intends to.

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