Friday, March 9, 2018

Dereliction of Duty?

Dereliction of Duty.  

This was the title of a book by current National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster.  It’s thesis (and it indeed grew out of the author’s PhD thesis) was that during the  Vietnam War, the Joint Chiefs of Staff displayed a dereliction of duty by becoming politicized and acceding to the wishes of then President Johnson and his civilian advisers. I haven’t read the book but it sounds a lot like a professional soldier trying to shift the blame for a lost war - the old ‘stab in the back’ excuse, which the military leadership of losing sides have leaned upon in the past, the most notable being the German high command during the Weimar years following WWI (and eagerly seized upon by Adolf Hitler).  Besides in a democracy is not the military supposed to be subordinate to the elected government? 

Anyway the following article

suggests that McMaster, since assuming the National Security position in Trump’s cabinet, has himself been derelict in his duty of standing up to the mercurial President.  In other words, he has become politicized and failed to perform the duties expected of the leadership position.  

There have been rumours of McMaster being given the boot by Trump.  Was he perhaps behind the neutering of son-in-law Kushner?   Or is it perhaps Chief of Staff John Kelly (another right-wing general) who eased out both Steve Bannon and Kushner and has now got his sights set on McMaster?  

Shakespearean intrigue indeed.  I wonder which of the Bard’s tragedies would best lend itself to being set in Trump’s Washington?

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