21 February 2017 Current Affairs: The President of United States, Donald Trump appointed Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new National Security Advisor on 20 February 2017.
The announcement was made by Trump himself at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. He described McMaster as a man of tremendous talent and experience, who is highly respected by those in the military and added that the US government is honoured to have him in its service.
McMaster will be succeeding Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign on 13 February after reports emerged about him misleading the US Vice President Mike Pence about the discussions he had held with the Russian ambassador to US about US sanctions on Moscow before the presidential transition. Since the national security adviser is an independent aide to the president, McMaster’s appointment does not require confirmation by the US Senate.
The acting National Security Advisor, retired general, Keith Kellogg, will now serve as Trump’s National Security Council Chief of Staff.
McMaster : Born in Philadelphia in 1962, McMaster graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984.
He did his masters and Ph.D degrees in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His Ph.D thesis, which criticised US military officers of the Vietnam War for not challenging the war strategies of the then President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, was further detailed into a 1997 book titled ‘Dereliction of Duty’
He previously served as the Director of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Shafafiyat (CJIATF-Shafafiyat) at the headquarters of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
He is also known to have played an effective role in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In April 2014, his name was included in the Time’s list of 100 most influential people in the world and he was described as the architect of the future US Army.
In the same year, he was promoted to the position of Lieutenant General along with four other officers and was made the Director of Army Capabilities Integration Centre and the Deputy Commanding General of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.