National Security Advisor Lt. General H.R. McMaster is in consideration for a promotion to four-star General. As a four-star general McMaster’s departure  from the White House would be inevitable and that he would possibly accept a position as the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, the second-highest-ranking active duty Army position, or possibly accept a position as one of the joint Combatant Command Commander roles.

My sources with knowledge of the Pentagon and Army’s decision-making that deal with general officer promotion process indicated that Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley would support this because he does not want to deal with the controversy of one of his senior general’s serving as the President’s National Security Advisor being fired or removed from such a position under circumstances that might look controversial. I’ve made this point clear previously to a number of people following the concerns over General McMaster’s actions, decisions, and policymaking.

In my discussions with a number subject matter experts in Washington, I and others see promoting McMaster to full General would be seen as “failing up” to some, and a win-win to others. For the Trump White House it would remove McMaster who as a result would in turn not enjoy his tenure at the national security advisor, as he finds his national security advisory role as stifling. A number of people close to the President have said that he would like to see McMaster exit gracefully rather than deal with another news cycle about personnel shifts. A number of my sources believe as do I that McMaster has been deliberately antagonizing and undermining the President.

Of course, when this happens, President Trump would again have to deal with the naming of his third national security adviser likely within about a year. But McMaster’s departure on the terms defined and due to promotion within the Army ranks would be seen more acceptable than the alterative of being fired or removed. While his role as national security advisor may have been seen at times as contentious and debatable, and in a number of situations not in-line with the President’s policy and thinking, at least ideologically, he has not done anything wrong so to speak. The only other active duty general officer to serve as national security adviser and be promoted to a fourth star was Colin Powell, serving under President Ronald Reagan.

IMAGE: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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.