Since the election there has been an unprecedented attempt to unwind the election result. In recent months events have accelerated on several fronts with attempts both from outside and within the White House to paralyze the Trump administration. From his first day on the job Lt. General H.R. McMaster Trump’s national security advisor has sought to stack the National Security Council (NSC) with influential Obama national security, Pentagon, foreign policy, even anti-American staff members who now hold senior-level national security roles and responsibilities. At the same time, he has orchestrated an internal witch hunt-style coup to remove Trump loyalists and America-First patriots … all the while with a clandestine-like approach to usurp and destroy the President’s national security agenda and policy.

Many of us in Conservative circles have been and are continuing to urge President Trump to fire his national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. McMaster must be terminally fired immediately; without delay, but the sum of the reasons being argued and debated are subsidiary to the primary reasons — but in all cases, McMaster has to go. On another level, a number of us were against any consideration of McMaster from the minute his name first surfaced — primarily due to his past policy positions, his ideology, and most of all his loyalty to the President – all of which run counter to the President and his agenda and decisions.

At the same time, an ongoing staffing purge being conducted by McMaster has thrown the West Wing into chaos, according to nearly a dozen Trump administration insiders and former staffers who have come forward or were in fact fired since McMaster was named the national security adviser. Since taking office, McMaster has been targeting long-time Trump loyalists who were clashing with McMaster’s people as well as staffers and holdovers from the Obama administration, who McMaster has been protecting.

Since his take-over of the NSC following Mike Flynn’s still questionable resignation, the debate over McMaster has been framed in terms of his loyalty to Trump. Though loyalty to the president is important, and in the case of Donald Trump, character, trust and loyalty are paramount to this President. For McMaster, his political ideology, his somewhat leftist view of the world — a view of; “the way it should be” versus “the reality of the way it is”, and emotional bad judgment, are what make him unfit for the position. Similarly, during Obama’s two terms, the Obama administration relentlessly politicized everything it touched and approached the world from that leftist theoretical position of “the way things should be.” That thinking embodies those dedicated to Obama’s ideology who are now embedded in every agency at every level of the federal government, by design.

There is no doubt so far, McMaster’s approach seems to follow along the lines of the Obama administration. Obama’s failures were numerous and were in fact highly damaging to America’s national security. Obama’s State Department produced an awful arms agreement with the Russians, removed the Defensive Missile Shield from Eastern Europe, tried desperately to pressure Israel into an untenable peace agreement, turned its back on the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and proudly signed Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran. There was also the Arab Spring, the toppling of long-time U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak of Egypt encourage by Obama, the Libya regime change and Benghazi cover-up scandals, and the Syrian civil war, and complacency on North Korea and its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

Obama’s Defense Department supported the massive spending cuts his administration intentionally engineered. Those cuts are the source of the readiness crisis we now face which, for example; has left over 70% of Marine Corps F-18s and Osprey’s unfit to fly combat missions. Moreover, the Pentagon never took a stand against Obama’s Iran Nuclear deal, or his dangerous Russian strategic weapons deal.

Further, the Obama Pentagon failed to alert American forces on the anniversaries of 9/11 — on which the Benghazi attacks occurred. In many cases, the Defense Department spent much time focused on and dedicated to social engineering and experimentation policies implementing those involving admitting women to special forces, soliciting transgender members, political correctness, climate change and “policy politicization” at the expense of training, readiness, and morale have been devastating.

The extent and impact of such policies were readily apparent, particularly within the intelligence community. How far down the politicization of the military penetrated was demonstrated in 2015 in the resistance by dozens of U.S. Central Command’s (USCENTCOM) intelligence analysts who had been ordered to change their findings to match Obama’s political decisions regardless of the facts or worse, the impact on U.S. military operations and the safety and security of U.S. military forces and Americans in the region.

Similarly, within the ranks of our military, division between those who supported Obama’s way of war — denying Islam had anything to do with terrorism, cutting military spending, and withdrawing American influence wherever it became noticeable was challenged behind the scenes. Those who challenged and criticized Obama’s policies and its effect on military order and our military’s warfighting culture, had a direct impact on who could get promoted and who could not, as well as who got fired among general officers – McChrystal, Kelly, Mattis, and Flynn come to mind.

Within the Obama national security community the National Security Council, became the central political organization perhaps somewhat of a politburo-style propaganda machine, pushing Obama’s ideology, agenda, and falsehoods across the federal government, as well as using Ben Rhodes then the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, as its primary media liaison and leaker. This became quite apparent within hours of the Benghazi attacks, Hillary’s State Department and the CIA had produced talking-points for administration officials claiming, albeit a lie — that the Libyan diplomatic compound and the CIA annex had been attacked by terrorists. That was the primary mechanism of how the Obama NSC intervened and orchestrated and implemented the Benghazi cover-up.

The truth of the matter is that was ultimately Obama’s personal decision as president with the complicit help of Hillary Clinton to spin a story against the truth. To carry that out, they called in former UN Ambassador and later National Security Advisor Susan Rice, to collaborate with Ben Rhodes — and then go on the Sunday political talk shows to tell that obvious lie. In the infamous memo, they corroborated the now famous Benghazi talking points to mislead the American people and claim that they were the result of spontaneous demonstrations, not planned series of terrorist attacks. In the end, it is total bullshit. Their objective, as stated in their contemporaneous emails, was to claim that the Hillary’s hostile regime change of Khadafy and the Libyan intervention wasn’t a major policy failure by Obama.

Rice established herself as a champion liar then (and afterwards), for a time even exceeding Hillary Clinton’s reputation. Time after time, Rice and her staff tried to spin the facts away to help Obama.

Unfortunately and much to the chagrin of many of us, President Trump’s first national security advisor, retired Army Lt. General Mike Flynn, didn’t last long enough to implement the much needed reform the NSC staff and rid it of the Obama loyalists. The holdovers from Susan Rice’s staff, number in the dozens. As President Trump’s second advisor, McMaster has been there for at least seven months, but has not made a concerted effort to remove the Obama loyalists. In fact, dozens remain, many in positions of significant responsibility and influence.

One of the first things McMaster did when he took over the NSC was order all the staffers who came in with Trump to stop talking about the Obama ‘holdovers’ who were still assigned to the NSC staff. In fact, it was an actual, literal, explicit instruction, directly from McMaster during one of his first staff meetings. McMaster’s rationale was that he did not want other staff members pointing out how there were Obama loyalists were still in place and already involved in undermining President Trump and his policies as well as leaking against him. It was as if McMaster saw this as an intragyral part of his overall effort to consolidate his power and strategy to implement his own end-run and undermining of the President. Perhaps even to use the Obama staffers as his own shield and scapegoats to blame if there is suspicion of subversion or sabotage of the President.

These loyalists are said to include many Obama holdovers, including key NSC personnel who work directly for senior Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes, who has become a central suspect in the leaks of damaging classified information to the media about previous Trump appointees. We know that these loyalists are in positions of responsibility had been identified as direct reports to Rhodes, working under his direct supervision. Rather than remove them, as is traditional, McMaster has protected and retained.

So essentially question that comes to mind and must be asked is; why would any national security advisor working for President Trump not rid the NSC of these people immediately, let alone the dozens of others as soon it was possible? It is quite well know now that there are well over fifty such Obama holdovers on the NSC staff. Regardless of administrations, past practice would suggest that none of these holdovers should remain appointed to the NSC. In the case of those being Obama loyalists, every one of them should be viewed as a political operative dedicated to thwarting and undermining whatever President Trump wants to do. Nevertheless, McMaster recently during an NSC staff meeting, that “There’s no such thing as a holdover.” That certainly is a politicized lie and reflects immensely on his attitude, character, and responsibility to the President he now serves. His actions and intentions affect and comprise a significant threat to national security.

From the minute McMaster’s name surfaced as a potential candidate to be national security advisor, I’ve stated that he should not be selected primarily because even though he was a three star general he did not have the strategic worldwide view of the national security issues. While he was a strategic battlefield commander in Iraq, it did not translate to that which was need for the job. Secondly, but equally important was his belief that Islam has no relationship to terrorism. In fact he noted to that effect including a 2016 speech in which he said ISIS is an example of the terrorist “…enemy who cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to incite hatred and justify horrific cruelty against innocents.”

In numerous articles and discussions that I have had over the years, I have emphatically stressed that in order to counter and destroy ISIS, al-Qaeda and other radical-Islamist groups; we need a coherent national security strategy that goes after the “ideology” that feeds radical-Islam. For more than five-years, I have written and stated again and again that we cannot win the war against radical-Islamic terrorism unless and until we defeat the ideology that drives them. Unfortunately, McMaster’s view of Islam is the same sort of politically correct nonsense and trash that we’ve been fed since 9/11. Having served as Deputy Director for Intelligence at USCENTCOM, one thing that I learned over the years is that there are two schools of Islamic jurisprudence. The belief that either the Koran requires Muslims to terrorize, slay, or enslave everyone who isn’t a believer in Islam, or that it only permits them to do so.

I concluded that either the terrorists are either the most faithful believers or they have an equal claim to their faith as all Muslims do. In either case, McMaster is profoundly wrong. Anyone whose view of the terrorist threat is so wrong should not be national security advisor.

As previously noted, Obama drove our military and foreign policy in this direction for eight years. In those years, McMaster was promoted by a military system that followed sheepishly in lockstep with President Obama and his senior most policy and decision-makers. No general or admiral resigned on principle.

McMaster is part of the politically correct military who were promoted under Obama for fealty to his politics. Echoing Obama, McMaster has told NSC staff to not use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” because it is inaccurate and unhelpful, insisting that terrorists are “un-Islamic.” My greatest concern is that a man dedicated to such a politically correct belief will always advise the president to refuse to fight the Islamist ideology, let alone implement a strategy to do so.

It also needs to be understood that McMaster heavily influenced the strategy for Afghanistan that the President actually rejected angrily about three weeks or so ago. The President is said to have done so because it recommended another round of what we’ve been doing unsuccessfully in Afghanistan for almost sixteen years. If the President wants new ideas and a strategy that isn’t a rehash of past failures, he’s not going to get it from McMaster. Certainly, Secretary of Defense Mattis and other senior officials will have to make what was eventually agreed upon work. Unfortunately, he could have gotten them from Mike Flynn. When Flynn was essentially forced/required to resign in his own mind for the greater good – the relentless attacks by the Democrats, political-left and the mainstream media would have rendered him ineffective as the President’s national security advisor (vice for lying to the Vice President). The worst part of this whole scenario that played out is that President Trump was convinced reportedly by Sen. John McCain and disgraced Gen. David Petraeus to replace Flynn with McMaster. Obviously, that was both bad advice and obviously more so a deliberate backstab as is now being realized.

Despite what most might say, regardless who the President is, Mr. Trump, who clearly is not an expert in any of these matters of national security, has and will continue to listen to him, as he would any of his generals and admirals. In the case of McMaster, his integrity and honesty, or lack thereof, is over shadowed and heavily influenced by his own ideology and beliefs which will to misconstrue the Presidents advice, and likely continue to lose the wars we are fighting.

Looking back, contrast that with President Trump’s first national security advisor, Lt. General Mike Flynn. Flynn co-wrote the book “The Field of Fight” with Michael Ledeen. In the book’s penultimate chapter, Flynn prescribed his formula to defeat the radical-Islamic terror networks. His book was a template for the U.S. for developing and establishing a coherent and strategic strategy to go after the ideology of radical-Islamic terrorism and the influence that feeds it, again similar to my belief and position. Flynn described the impact of defeating radical-Islamic terrorism means — Destroying the jihadi armies and killing or capturing their leaders. Discrediting their ideology, which will be greatly helped by our military victories, but which requires a serious program all its own…”

McMaster’s recent actions in firing several top National Security Council staffers proves that his deep-seated faithfulness to the Obama doctrine. He has fired people from the NSC staff who have deviated from that doctrine by opposing Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons deal and who have a realistic understanding of the terrorist threat of radical-Islam. Despite the President’s campaign promise and his position and policies, McMaster continues to fire those who support the President, while retaining the Obama acolytes and loyalists.

Further, an perhaps more damaging, such actions aren’t just bad decisions by McMaster, they’re proof that he believes the Obama loyalists who helped the Obama NSC produce lies and may have in addition helped the Susan Rice and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper spy on the Trump campaign are essential to his functions. Remember that NSA interception of communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act sometimes intercept communications between foreign agents and U.S. citizens within the U.S. The law requires that the identities of those Americans are “masked,” meaning concealed from intelligence users and consumers — unless in specific instances where a national security interest is in play, by law it can be requested that they be unmasked, but only to select national security officials…not the media.

Clapper and Rice almost certainly abused their powers to unmask people for the political purpose of spying on Trump’s campaign. Who among the many Obama holdovers among the NSC staff, and notably staffers who McMaster is retaining who also corroborated with and helped Rice unmask Trump associates and officials.

Another issue of concern regarding McMasters being an active (duty) senior general officer, is the recent discovery of his long association as an advisor with the foreign England-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which extended 11-years from September 2006 until February 2017 when he became national security adviser. IISS a left-wing think tank was involved in the campaign to promote the nuclear deal with Iran and gets funding from Islamist allies. It’s website identifies its top donors is the Open Society Foundation, whose founder and chairman is left-wing partisan activist George Soros. IISS also associated with the Ploughshares Fund as a major donor, which is also funded by Soros and his Open Society Foundation. When Ben Rhodes boasted about orchestrating the “echo chamber” to promote the nuclear deal with Iran, he specifically mentioned Ploughshares involvement as an example of an outside group he utilized. Ploughshares specifically listed IISS, the group that McMaster belonged to, as the recipient of a grant for work on promoting Iran’s issues in 2016. The numerous questions raised deals with McMaster’s possible conflict of interest as an U.S. active duty senior U.S. general officer’s with ties to the organization that works politically against U.S. foreign policy, any payments, royalties and or stipends he might has received for advice and services as a U.S. active duty general officer, with would be a violation under U.S. military policy.

Last, and of extreme importance, is the fact that McMaster didn’t resign or retire from the U.S. Army to take the job he holds as national security advisor. He’s a career Army officer and an active duty three-star general officer, obviously more interested in getting one final promotion, to full general, than in anything else. It needs to be noted that with that position, comes the responsibility and integrity to act and carry-out his duties as a general officer. Unlike other retired generals or civilian national security advisers, he is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is much tougher than civilian laws and directives, which he is still subject to as well. As a military officer, even violating those while serving in his current capacity, and as a general officer would subject him to the scrutiny of the USMJ, and perhaps the ultimate consequence of a Court Martial should an infraction be discovered. He needs to tread carefully and lightly.

McMaster’s ascent is a sudden change in the balance of power in the White House. President Trump was widely reported to be so disappointed with McMaster that he met with former U.N. ambassador John Bolton to discuss replacing him. Trump and Bolton concluded with regard to timing, it was not the right move at this time. The President has confronted McMaster about his general undermining of my policy. Similarly, there have been a number of articles over the last several months indicating that Trump might be on the cusp of firing McMaster. Further, Trump has reportedly said in private that he regrets choosing McMaster as national security. Certainly, from my standpoint, I don’t understand why the President is allowing a guy who is subverting his national security and foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.

So in the end, that is the person that President Trump now trusts with the job of national security advisor. Until something changes, the President continues to do so at his and our risk.

Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served combat and combat-support tours in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as on numerous special operations and special mission intelligence contingencies in Central America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units, and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force, as well as in international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism. He is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC -- which provides strategic and operational security analysis and assessments to governmental and private entities, as well as media organizations on national security issues, policy, and processes. He currently provides advisory and consulting services on national security, international strategic policy, and strategy assessments for the U.S. and foreign private sector and governments entities, media groups and outlets, and to political groups, forums, and political candidates. He is an author and writer providing regular commentary and opinion to national and local TV, radio networks, and for both print and online publications, as well as speaking engagements to business, political, civic and private groups on national security matters – focusing on international strategic policy and engagement, and strategic intelligence, and subject matter expertise on special mission intelligence and operations, counter-terrorism, and asymmetric warfare and conflict.

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