Sean P. Braniff, writing in the Washington Post:
After his national security adviser was forced to resign and the leading contender for his replacement withdrew, President Trump named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to the post on Monday. The decision was quickly hailed by many within the foreign policy establishment.
Why was McMaster so widely embraced? As President Trump may soon learn, it’s because the famed soldier’s views of the world differ significantly from those of his commander in chief — including on such important issues as Russia, alliances and terrorism.
McMaster’s background is formidable
H.R. McMaster has had a storied Army career. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in 1991, McMaster was a tank commander at the famed Battle of 73 Easting in Operation Desert Storm. In 2004, he oversaw the securing of Iraq’s Tal Afar. Many of his counterinsurgency tactics were later included in the Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual.
He has also been influential as part of the military’s brain trust. With an American history PhD from the University of North Carolina, he wrote “Dereliction of Duty,” a popular book examining why the United States lost its war in Vietnam. McMaster’s outspokenness probably cost him promotions at several points in his career — but also gives us insight into his worldview.
McMaster’s worldview is in direct conflict with Trump’s on these questions
1) Is Russia an ally or a threat?
Questions about the first national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials ended his tenure within the Trump administration’s first month. By contrast, McMaster says the greatest security threat facing the United States comes from strong states — Russia and China — that are “endeavoring to collapse” the post-World War II economic and security order.
McMaster emphasizes Russian “political subversion, disinformation, and propaganda,” in stark contrast with President Trump’s failure to condemn Russia’s attempt to hack the U.S. election. McMaster says there is no greater military threat than a war among great powers.
2) Should the United States go it alone in world affairs?
Because McMaster sees Russia actively trying to assert dominance, he values U.S. involvement in NATO. He calls it “arrogant and narcissistic” to encourage the United States to disengage from the world’s problems, because that examines global issues only as they relate to the United States, and he criticizes isolationism more generally.
Joint multinational operations are the appropriate response to the “fallacy” that the United States can withdraw from the world and go it alone, McMaster argues. Further, he argues that military power works to keep Americans safe only if well-integrated with “all elements of national and international power,” referring specifically to the safety of alliances.
Much more here.