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R.I.P. The Passing of a Career
Robert Pitt
/ Categories: Opinion

R.I.P. The Passing of a Career

General H.R. McMaster has taken the job that he can't say no to.

            I come here to you today to tell you about a man, H. R. McMasters. A proven warrior, a dedicated soldier, truly a man this country should be proud of and wish we had more of. If this opening sounds funereal, it only reflects how I feel. The more I looked into the career of the man who is now the National Security Adviser, the more I felt I was writing an obituary. Not for the man himself, but for his career.

 

            Here is a man who is a consummate warrior and tactician. While serving in Iraq, he was engaged in the Battle of 73 Easting. With twelve tanks under his command, he destroyed more than twice that number of enemy tanks, along with over a dozen armored personnel carriers and trucks as well - all in less than half an hour. His exploits in that battle have been a subject of study in military circles since. Having proven himself on the battlefield, he has gone on to prove himself as a capable strategic thinker, as well. While in command of a brigade, he decided to switch to an emphasis on counterinsurgency and successfully dealt with one of the most complicated cities in Iraq: Tal Afar. In an interview with Charlie Rose, he reiterated his successful strategy for all to hear: "Sadam had essentially hollowed out his state. He had weakened social services; healthcare and especially education, and so this younger generation of Iraqi's are undereducated, prone to the demagoguery of people like Zarqawi or Muqtada al-Sadr and the people around him." These were problems he soon corrected. He holds an earned doctorate in history, and has authored the best selling book, Dereliction of Duty. This is a man of courage, dedication and ability that some have speculated has the ability to one day rise to a position on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 

            Then, when retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was forced to resign because of ties to a foreign power, and retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, upon looking at the position and determining it was a "shit sandwich," declined the position, they offered it to active duty United States Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMasters. That, as Shakespeare might say, is the tragedy in our tale. He took this position because his Commander in Chief called upon him and he is an honorable man. But what happens when an honorable man finds himself surrounded by rogues, racists and reprobates? General McMasters holds a position where it is his duty to provide his best advice to the President, and yet doesn't have access to come in to speak to him unless summoned. Worse, what if this President comes to him one day and orders him to have an opinion; an opinion he knows to be in error? It would not surprise me to hear a press release from the White House: "Today, H. R. McMasters retired from his position as Lieutenant General in The United States Army and resigned from the office of National Security Advisor." If that were to happen, the knives would come out in the White House. Any current crisis, any blunder, would be laid at his feet. The President, who had so many nice things to say about him when he took the job, would no doubt then be painting him as an incompetent.

 

            So, if this sounds like an obituary it is because that is how it felt to me while writing it. I do not lament the loss of McMasters the man - he is so talented that he will succeed at anything the future holds for him. I lament that we, as a nation, could lose one of the best officers of a generation from ever being able to rise to command of the Army.

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