February 21, 2017 | Quoted by Tom Rogan - National Review

Three Immediate Priorities for McMaster

In 2005, Colonel Herbert McMaster prioritized victory above promotion. Attempting to secure Tal Afar, a city in northern Iraq, McMaster faced a big problem: He was witnessing an insurgency that was warping from nationalism into Salafi jihadism, and he knew that the U.S. Army’s “kinetic” (i.e., violence-centric) focused strategy was making things worse.

But, unlike many other field commanders, McMaster decided to buck the Army groupthink. Likely believing he would lose any chance of a general’s star by doing so, he adopted the first major counterinsurgency campaign of the Iraq occupation. His efforts were a great success. McMaster helped forge relative unity in a divided city, and isolated al-Qaeda in Iraq (read George Packer’s excellent 2006 report on McMaster’s strategy in the city).

Fortunately, McMaster is well placed to ameliorate this situation. That’s especially true with regard to Europe. As Thomas Joscelyn notes, McMaster has closely studied Putin’s destabilization strategy in Europe. By quickly sending Russian-aggression expert McMaster to allay European fears, Trump could buy credibility and influence among the EU allies.

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