General Herbert Raymond (H.R.) McMaster is “the right man in the right place” for both America and the Jewish state, an Israeli military expert told the Hebrew news site nrg on Tuesday about the US president’s appointment of his new national security adviser, who will replace the recently resigned Michael Flynn.
Dr. Eitan Shamir — a senior research associate at the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University — said that nobody could be “better suited for the job.”
Shamir recounted being contacted some 10 years ago by McMaster, who had read and liked his book, Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the US, UK and Israeli Armies.
“He is a very warm person,” Shamir said. “The first time we met in person, he embraced me. Since then, we have remained in touch, visiting one another in Israel and the US, and exchanging emails.”
This warmth, Shamir added, extends to McMaster’s feelings about the Jewish state. “He was in the country many times; he has many Israeli friends, and I remember an event at which he called Israel an ally which fights with the US, just as Canada, Britain and Australia do,” Shamir said. However, he added he was not sure what the new US national security adviser’s positions were on specific internal Israeli issues.
Shamir said that McMaster’s personality and intellect shone through in his interactions with troops under his command. “I saw him…taking an interest in each, patting them on the back, getting to know them. I saw how they looked up to him, follow his lead,” he said, going on to list the medals McMaster was awarded for his part in the first and second Gulf Wars.
Later, however, McMaster’s promotions were delayed, when he published a book in which he criticized the senior command of the US Army during the Vietnam War. His last military post was as the commander of a massive ground forces training base. In that capacity, he would often ask Shamir to give lectures and briefings to American officers.
“He is a star,” Shamir said. “An authority, and one of the best there is.”
As to how McMaster will deal with President Donald Trump’s goal of “wiping ISIS off the earth,” Shamir assessed that his friend would not recommend placing American boots on the ground in Islamic State territory. “I’m sure he has spoken about this with Trump,” Shamir said. “Of course, it’s the million-dollar question.”
(c) 2017 The Algemeiner Journal