by Sarah Willson
There should be no concern over new White House National Security Adviser, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, according to Jerold Arquette, a political science professor at Central Connecticut State University.
“There’s nothing in this guy’s background that should make us worry about that, he is a very bright, intellectually engaged person,” said Arquette. “That’s why he has such a good reputation across the political spectrum.”
McMaster was selected for the position last Monday, Feb. 20.
“He is highly respected by everyone in the military, and we’re very honored to have him,” said President Donald Trump.
Many agree with Trump’s statement, including Arquette, a professor of 17 years at CCSU. He noted McMaster’s excellent reputation, despite the fact that his personal politics differ greatly from the president’s.
McMaster, who is currently still serving as a member of the United States Army, served in the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
When asked about combating terrorism from the Middle East, Arquette said he believed that McMaster’s experience overseas would most likely benefit the United States.
“I think it will [benefit the U.S.],” said Arquette. “These are positions of civilian leadership, so the idea that he is a current general does cause some consternation.”
“There are some folks who worry that generals give a certain kind of advice, and that they might be less inclined towards diplomacy, but I’m not sure that’s so true,” said Arquette, believing that McMaster will ultimately do more good for the U.S. than bad.
Arquette also stated that McMaster was a “vast improvement” over Trump’s previous security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Flynn originally held the position and resigned after it was believed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Press Secretary Sean Spicer about conversations that took place with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which caused three repeated public falsehoods.
McMaster differs from Trump and Flynn in the sense that he does not support a friendship with Russia, a country Trump believes is vital when it comes to helping combat terrorism in the Middle East.
At one point in time, McMaster called Russia “a growing threat to the West,” believing that it poses a substantial threat to U.S. national security.
Concerned about Trump and McMaster’s opposing views, Arquette said that he hopes he will “provide a necessary perspective to a president who doesn’t have much perspective.”
“The president’s posture towards Russia isn’t based on policy,” said Arquette. “It’s based on politics.”
More than anything, Arquette said he hopes McMaster will be able to guide and educate Trump about foreign policy.
“I’m pleased that he now has a national security adviser who is both respected across the aisle and clearly a substantive thinking intellectual person,” said Arquette. “I don’t think you have to be a liberal to admit that Trump doesn’t know anything about foreign policy.”
Arquette added that he wanted McMaster to be “a source of wisdom, objectivity and professionalism for his boss.”
When McMaster was announced as the national security adviser, he said he is grateful to Trump for the opportunity, and he looks forward to joining the national security team. McMaster said that he will do everything he can to protect the interests of the American people.