Columns, Opinion

BURKE: McMaster is a welcomed replacement

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been chosen by President Donald Trump to be the 26th National Security Advisor of the United States. The move was made on Feb. 20, a week after Michael Flynn resigned 21 days on the job.

The move to McMaster is a welcoming one. He had no previous link to the president, while Flynn served as a campaign advisor through a good portion of the race.

However, a link to Trump before the official presidency is not enough for the American people to lose trust in someone. What should cause the public to lose trust is lying to the vice president about whether or not you were in contact with Russian diplomats.

Flynn was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to be the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency after serving 33 years in the U.S. Army. As director of the DIA, he tried to institute plans to change the policies of the organization to keep up with challenges in the 21st century.

Flynn pressed the Obama administration about their tactics in defeating Al Qaeda and how to stop the spread of radical Islamic violence all over the globe. His intentions, when he was appointed by Obama, were desirable.

Be that as it may, controversy seems to follow the man wherever he goes. He retired a year early due to somewhat mysterious consequences, depending on who you ask. If one were to ask Flynn himself why he retired, he would say that he was forced out by senior officials for not complying with their every order. On the other hand, if you ask Colin Powell, he would give you a much different answer. According to leaked emails published by BuzzFeed, Powell said that Flynn was “abusive with staff, didn’t listen, worked against policy, bad management, etc.”

What strikes me here is the fact that Powell, a retired four-star general, spoke on the fact that Flynn worked against policy. This seems to be a common theme.

The most concerning thing of all is the fact that President Trump appointed this man to be the new National Security Advisor, even after he was ousted from his previous job. Not being able to judge a person’s character when it is very clearly documented is pretty scary.

With that being said, Trump may have struck gold with his pick to replace Flynn.

McMaster is seen throughout Washington D.C. as someone who will criticize what he feels is wrong. He is an independent thinker who has written a book condemning America’s entry into the Vietnam War. McMaster has also spoken out against the way the Bush administration handled the war in Iraq. The respected general most recently spoke out against Trump’s views on torture.

McMaster served in the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan. He has proven himself on the battlefield time and time again, receiving everything from a Purple Heart to a decorated NATO Medal. General McMaster is the epitome of a war hero and a much better choice than Flynn was.

One concern coming from those in D.C. is the fact that McMaster is still an active duty member of the military. The reason for concern here is that those who are retired from the armed forces can easily oppose what the president has to say with little to no repercussions to their careers.

This may not be the same with someone on active duty. Take a look back at Trump’s first attorney general, who was essentially fired for not enforcing the travel ban implemented about a month ago. Sally Yates met her end because she didn’t agree with the president on one decision, leaving people to wonder about McMaster’s fate.

As an ordinary citizen, I agree with the appointment of McMaster to be the National Security Advisor much more than I agreed with the appointment of Flynn. I think that McMaster has a way about him that has not been seen in those chosen for the Trump administration so far. He is someone who is not afraid to express his views, whether they are positive or negative, to anybody.

It seems as though the Trump administration has had more downs than ups since our new president was sworn in a little over a month ago. With that being said, the appointment of General McMaster shows that the administration may be getting on the right track. I think they knew that if someone unfit to serve was appointed again, their credibility would be all but lost.

Only time can tell whether McMaster is truly better than Flynn, but as far as I know, McMaster is a great appointment for National Security Advisor and will serve the American people to the best of his ability.

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