“Not the worst variant”. With these words, the Russian scientists consider the appointment of a new adviser to the President of the United States national security, General McMaster. What is known of the man who succeeded scandalously dismissed Flynn, and how it will affect Russian-American relations?
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov commented on the appointment of Lieutenant-General Herbert McMaster adviser to the President of the United States Donald trump on national security, noting that Russia is patiently awaiting the formation of the position of Washington against Moscow.
“Given the criticism of the McMaster readiness of the American army to melee, I believe he will lobby for the use of us special forces in Syria and Iraq”
The Kremlin stressed that “the purpose of the President’s team (USA) can not in any way be interpreted in Moscow”, as it is the exclusive prerogative of the President of the United States, RIA “Novosti”. However, Peskov said that “for us it is very important how we will build our relations, and the attitude which will be marked by Washington”. “Await further developments”, – said Peskov.
Meanwhile, in the Republican party, loudly welcomed the appointment of McMaster. “General McMaster is an outstanding choice for the role of national security Advisor,a man of genuine intellect, strong character and great abilities”, – said Senator John McCain. As noted, “new York times,” a crucial role in the choice of McMaster played Republican Senator Tom cotton. He noted that McMaster is “one of the best generals of our generation.” Support for the McMaster expressed the Pentagon chief James Mattis, who previously had to work with him.
As the newspaper VIEW, the evening before the us President Donald trump named his new national security Advisor. He became Lieutenant-General of the land forces Herbert Raymond McMaster. Acting together with the General at his club Mar-a-Lago Florida trump described it as having “a huge talent” and “great experience”. In turn, McMaster said: “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working in the national security team to do everything in my power to promote and protect the interests of the American people”, – quotes its “Interfax”.
Other candidates for the post was considered a former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and superintendent of the military Academy at West point Lieutenant General Robert Caslen Jr. Temporarily performing these duties, the retired General Keith Kellogg became chief of staff of the national security Council at the White house, reports TASS.
Before McMaster was the head of the center for the integration of forces and means of the US army and was Deputy commander of the land forces. But McMaster famous for a long time – he commanded a tank division during one of the most major battles during the war in the Persian Gulf in 1991, was awarded the order of Silver Stars. Later, McMaster participated in the second Iraq war and in operations in Afghanistan.
According to “Kommersant”, McMaster is known for his uncompromising and controversial nature of the disputes with the authorities. He criticized the commanders for the “ill-conceived” strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, even forced their soldiers and officers to study the history and culture of Iraq. In 1997, the General wrote the book “Forgetfulness of duty” (Dereliction of Duty), which sharply rebuked U.S. policy since the Vietnam war. The book became extremely respected in American military circles work, and even recommended reading for officers. It a habit to publicly argue with the command of the McMaster received in the officers ‘ quarters the nickname of “the Iconoclast”.
“Containment of Russia on the frontiers”
Recall that on 14 February he resigned the former adviser on national security, Michael Flynn. Babysitting Flynn has been linked to the scandal surrounding his telephone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Flynn was considered the “Pro” figure in the new administration.
As for McMaster, it is in 2015, commenting on the Ukrainian events, and expressed concerns about our country and urged Russians to keep “at the forefront”. “The only way to effectively cope with them is to keep on the cutting edge, and such deterrence at the cutting edge involves the use of ground troops,” – said then McMaster. However, he then failed to answer the question of whether Moscow believes the enemy or the partner, saying only that to solve it is “the responsibility of national leadership.”
Trump shy away from professional diplomats
Member of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Igor Morozov took the appointment optimistic. He drew attention to the fact that McMaster is in one line of the military personnel who passed through the crucible of the Iraq war, through the fighting in Afghanistan. “Trump put it, in order to build a system of relations with European partners, with China. Build relationships in the middle East and, of course, with Russia. This is one of the key directions of the foreign policy trump. He wanted to shape its foreign policy strategy”, – Morozov said the newspaper VIEW.
The Senator stressed that trump specifically refers to the personnel of the diplomatic corps, because there the vast majority of working people-focused “on the US dominance in the world, in American exceptionalism.” “Trump wants this line to change and refers to the military, which is increasingly subject to command discipline, ready to do the will of his head,” – said the Senator. Igor Morozov also noted that the new figure is associated with Pentagon Mattis and “trump is trying to build a horizontal line between the Pentagon and the national security Advisor”.
As Senator Morozov, Professor of political science at the University of Tennessee (USA), expert of Russian Council on international Affairs Andrei Korobkov urges not to forget that trump is the head of a rather authoritarian, and the whole team will adapt to his violin. “To trump the question of improving relations with Russia is strategic. However, on this issue he opposes is most a broad coalition, so the next tactical steps trump will be, on the contrary, the rhetoric against Russia and promises not to lift the sanctions – suggests the expert. – Strategically, however, it will still focus on improving relations.”
Americanist Kirill Benediktov also believes that the new adviser in relation to Russia will not be of an opinion different from the opinion of trump. “The most important difference from other candidates is that McMaster has no experience of the corridors of power, it is purely a military man. This is General with strong combat experience, but it is absolutely not a politician. Trump clearly saw this trait of his biography as a plus. In addition, McMaster had not insisted on bringing with him his team, such as former CIA head David Petraeus, who is actively lobbying the Washington establishment. Attitude McMaster to Russia will depend on that will say the trump,” – the expert believes.
Flynn is not a Russophile, not a Russophobe McMaster
Korobkov said that Michael Flynn was, definitely, the most acceptable to Russia, and all the other candidates represent a choice between bad and worse. “McMaster, incidentally, is not the worst option – compared to the same John Bolton who hold openly anti-Russian positions,” – said the americanist newspaper VIEW.
He, in turn, said that the views of McMaster are not much different from the views of the majority of the representatives of the American military machine. “Actually, General Flynn was talking about Russia as a possible adversary of the US. Another thing is that the main enemy of Flynn believed Islamic terrorism and was willing to consider our country as a tactical ally in the fight against ISIL*. Flynn is not a Russophile that McMaster is not a Russophobe. They are just American soldiers,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.
In addition, according to Venediktov, trump chooses his advisers in their relation to the Middle East and Islamic terror. The analyst reminded about a war merit McMaster. “During the Gulf war of 1991, McMaster commanded a group of nine tanks, which defeated the superior ten times the tank forces of Saddam Hussein”, – he reminded.
According to the americanists, in principle, the position of the McMaster Syria and Iraq is not different from the views of Flynn. “The only one, given the criticism of the McMaster readiness of the American army to melee, I believe he will lobby for the use of us special forces in Syria and Iraq,” – said the Benedictine.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”