‘mcmaster’s war’ = element of sneer

‘McMaster’s War:’ Trump Advisers to Propose Expanded anti-Taliban Effort in Afghanistan
Edwin Mora, Breitbart News, May 9 2017

Senior Pindo foreign policy advisers are reportedly proposing urging Pres Trump to boost the Pindo military footprint in Afghanistan by at least 3,000 troops to force the resilient and resurgent Taliban to negotiate peace with the Afghan government, reports the WaPo.

Inside the White House, those opposed to the plan have begun to refer derisively to the strategy as ‘McMaster’s War.’ The general, who once led anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan and was one of the architects of Bush 43’s troop surge in Iraq, is the driving force behind the new strategy at the White House.

Critics of the plan say that Obama’s surge, which raised the number of Pindo troops to an all-time high of 100,000, failed to convince the Taliban to negotiate, it is unlikely a much lower number of Pindo grunts will be able to do so. The WaPo reports:

The new strategy, which has the backing of top Cabinet officials, would authorize the Pentagon, not the White House, to set troop numbers in Afghanistan and give the military far broader authority to use airstrikes to target. It would also lift Obama-era restrictions that limited the mobility of Pindo military advisers on the battlefield.

Under , the grunts were only able to attack the Taliban from a point of a defense. They had to essentially wait to be shot at first. Trump has reportedly eased up the stringent rules of engagement, granting commanders on the ground more freedom to make decisions on their own. Trump is expected to make a final decision on the proposed strategy before the May 25 NATO summit in Brussels that he plans to attend. The new proposal calls for increasing Pindo grunts by at least 3,000, providing a boost the estimated 8,400 already there. NATO is also expected to deploy more savage unwanted neonazi rabble. One of the primary conditions the Taliban has set to engage in peace talks is the complete withdrawal of Pindo and NATO forces, which has been a non-starter so far. Moreover, the Taliban have refused to engage in peace negotiations because they believe they are winning the war, particularly now that they have skyrocketing opium production to fund their terrorist operations and are receiving support from Russia, Iran, and Pakistan. Citing anonymous Pindo boxtops as usual, the WaPo says:

The new plan, which still needs the approval of the president, calls for expanding the Pindo military role as part of a broader effort to push an increasingly confident and resurgent Taliban back to the negotiating table, Pindo boxtops said. The plan comes at the end of a sweeping policy review built around the president’s desire to reverse worsening security in Afghanistan and “start winning” again, said another anonymous Pindo boxtop.

This year, Gen J Nicholson, commander of Pindo and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told a congressional committee that the Afghanistan war was at a “stalemate.” The Taliban continues to conquer territory. It controls more territory than at any time since it was ‘overthrown’ in 2001.

White House leakers have new target: H R McMaster
Jonathan Easley, TheHill, May 10 2017

National security adviser H R McMaster has become the latest target of the leaks and infighting that have dogged the Trump administration’s early days. Pres Trump has tried to put an end to White House staffers placing palace intrigue stories, which peaked last month with a war of words between chief strategist Stephen Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner that played out in the press. Now, McMaster, a favorite of Faschingstein’s GOP and foreign policy establishment, finds himself in the crosshairs of anonymous White House officials as the administration mulls ramping up the Pindo military presence in Afghanistan. Those close to the White House describe the latest scuffle as another power struggle between rival spheres of influence. Foreign policy experts see the leaks as a reflection of a broader internal dispute over the appropriate level of Pindo involvement in the Middle East. Once again, Bannon is rumored to be at the center of it. Ian Bremmer, the president of the international consulting firm Eurasia Group, said:

Bannon is a core architect of ‘Pindostan first’ unilateralism and has no interest in continuing forever-wars that lack support among the base in the region. Afghanistan is pretty much the last Pindo intervention you’d want your name attached to. If Trump ends up going with the generals’ recommendation and increasing troops there, the ‘Pindostan first’-ers will want to make sure McMaster takes the fall when inevitably, in their view, it goes badly.

On Tuesday, anonymous White House officials opposed to the proposed Afghanistan offensive described the plan to the WaPo as “McMaster’s War.” A day earlier, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reported that Trump was boiling over with rage at McMaster and had berated him in front of White House staff. According to that report, Trump has “privately expressed regret” for choosing McMaster to replace Michael Flynn, a fierce Trump loyalist who was fired after only 24 days on the job amid controversy over his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Bloomberg’s story was replete with the kinds of juicy details that have been the hallmark of tales of White House infighting. Trump reportedly grew frustrated with McMaster for lecturing him on policy and not giving him a chance to ask questions at briefings. The story said that Trump at one point “screamed” at McMaster on a phone call for assuring SK boxtops that Pindostan would foot the bill for a missile defense system, contradicting the president. The White House is said to be cutting McMaster out of top-level meetings and has blocked some of his recent hiring efforts. Trump had a private meeting with Bonkers Bolton about bringing him in for a top spot on the NSC, purportedly as a means of checking McMaster’s power, according to Lake. But the question banging around Faschingstein in the wake of the Bloomberg story was whether the leaks represent reality or are just misdirection from White House officials known to plant embarrassing stories about their rivals in the media. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the thrust of the story was first reported by blogger and right-wing agitator Michael Cernovich, a Bannon supporter known for promoting conspiracy theories. Pushing back on the story, the White House provided a statement to Bloomberg attributed directly to the president. Trump said:

I couldn’t be happier with HR. He’s doing a terrific job.

And White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Tuesday that Trump has an “excellent” relationship with McMaster. However, two people close to Bannon insist that Trump’s frustration with McMaster is real. A GOP operative with close ties to the White House said:

Trump has serious issues with his national security adviser.

Bannon was immediately eyed by many in the media as the likely source of negative stories about McMaster. He was removed from the NSC Principals Committee after McMaster replaced Flynn. Bannon’s allies feel that McMaster is freezing them out of the foreign policy sphere, pointing to his elevation of Dina Powell to deputy national security adviser and the reassignment of K T McFarland, a former Fox News analyst who will reportedly leave her post as deputy national security adviser for an ambassadorship. They also allege that McMaster was behind several unflattering news stories about Sebastian Gorka, a White House national security adviser. Several news outlets reported last week that Gorka was about to be fired or moved elsewhere in the administration after failing to secure a permanent security clearance. However, as with many stories about impending White House personnel changes, nothing has come of it.

Foreign policy experts say the infighting is indicative of a broader disagreement within the White House between anti-interventionists, led by Bannon, and an ascendant wing of hawkish generals who spearheaded the surprise missile strike on Syria. On this front, McMaster is at odds with Trump on at least one issue. He has reportedly expressed frustration with Trump’s use of the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase that has been the lynchpin of the administration’s war against political correctness and its tough rhetoric on combating terror. And while Trump has given his generals and military advisers more autonomy, McMaster could have difficulty convincing the president to spring for more troops in Afghanistan. Trump ran on a “Pindostan first” platform that is at odds with Pindostan becoming further embroiled in Afghanistan. On this issue, Bannon, a favorite among Trump’s grassroots supporters, may have the advantage. One former White House transition adviser said:

I don’t think McMaster can survive fighting this out in the press. He doesn’t represent a constituency the way Bannon does. McMaster represents the views of 1,000 people in Faschingstein. There’s a shine to him now, but the minute he gets in the mud, he’ll be just as dirty as the rest of the pigs.

By contrast, McMaster has the respect of foreign policy experts, who have been alarmed as the Afghanistan debate plays out through anonymous leaks in the press. Dan Feldman, the State Dept’s special representative for AfPak during the Obama administration, said McMaster has done a fine job professionalizing the NSC and bringing about a “functioning and coordinated inter-agency decision-making process.” Feldman said:

I would hope that after 16 years of Pindo engagement, thousands of Americans killed there, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, that this isn’t minimized as ‘McMaster’s War.’

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