As soon as President Donald Trump announced that he’d chosen Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, US Army, to be National Security Adviser, people began sending me an anonymously sourced quote that McMaster said “The Islamic State is not Muslim” during a President’s Lecture Series at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C., sometime in August of 2014.
McMaster is a Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, NDU.
I can find no record that McMaster said, “The Islamic State is not Muslim.” The usual anti-Muslim fanatics are pushing this story. Maybe someone will send me a link to the lecture that McMaster allegedly gave. Until then, I don’t believe it.
Here’s what’s undisputed about McMaster: He’s a genius at combat, diplomacy, analysis, and keeping his job despite his scathing criticism of the US armed forces’ leadership. McMaster has written several papers that should’ve ended his career, yet he continues to flourish.
McMaster was a tank commander of the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Eagle Troop during Desert Storm. His nine tanks destroyed over 90 Iraqi armored vehicles at the Battle of 73 Easting, February 26 to 27, 1991, one of the most violent armor engagements in the history of warfare. Captain McMaster’s tactics became part of US Army training curriculum.
During the Iraq war, then-Colonel McMaster commanded the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR)
A self-contained unit with its own armor, air power, and artillery. Sound familiar? THOSE are the Arab League and allied units fighting in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. They’re called C6ISR units: Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Cyber Warfare, Commando, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Strategic special forces.
H. R. McMaster is the father of the new warfare, as I’ll prove.
McMaster is given an impossible task
When the 3rd ACR returned to Iraq in February of 2005, terrorists had totally taken over the town of Tal’ Afar. The US military had no idea how to defeat these terrorists. Our forces hadn’t been trained to engage in counterinsurgency, and our military leadership denied that there was a problem.
So McMaster—using sheer intuition—invented a new method of warfare. His mantra was “Don’t do the enemy’s work for him.” In other words, don’t fight in a counterproductive way. McMaster (seemingly?) alone realized that to WIN THE WAR, we needed to deal with the Iraqis on their own terms. That was just reality. Nothing else mattered.
McMaster changed his regiment’s approach from “kill and capture” to “clear, hold, and build.” The latter word DOESN’T MEAN nation building; it means building on relationships. Massive firepower was often counterproductive. Instead, SMART violence was required.
Every single soldier—clerk, cook, driver, logistics specialist, staff—was trained in infantry tactics. This was because the terrorists avoided the obvious warriors and attacked convoys or supply depots. McMaster made it impossible for the terrorists to hit “soft targets” because there were none. Also every soldier in the regiment became a medic. Finally, McMaster trained his troops extensively in a mock city populated by Arabs. Every possible scenario was rehearsed, the troops were required to become conversational in Arabic, and they were ordered to not use bigoted terms.
Mindsets had to be entirely transformed in order for the troops to win.
McMaster applies his ideas in combat
Operation Restoring Rights—the liberating of Tal’ Afar from terrorists—began on August 26, 2005. The 3rd ACR and US special-operations troops, along with about 6500 Iraqi soldiers and commandos, approached the city. A US engineer battalion had built a massive earthen berm around Tal’ Afar, and all law-abiding citizens were screened and evacuated to nearby camps. As the Americans and Iraqis went in, Iraqi police provided perimeter security to keep the terrorists from escaping to…Syria.
Yes, Syria. Bashar al-Assad is a state sponsor of terrorism. He has been since his “election” in 2000.
The Americans had worked hard to give Iraqi troops Iraqi food and toilet facilities, as logistically difficult as that was. This empathy paid off when Iraqis explained how to recognize terrorists by the way they treated children, for example. The Americans learned to distinguish between threats and culture shock.
It took three weeks for the force of 15,000 soldiers to take back Tal’ Afar. The Americans had to meet local leaders and drink tea with them over and over. It was tedious, but this is simply how things are done in Iraq.
McMaster had also ordered his helicopter gunship crews to TALK with the ground troops and understand their needs. As a result, the air power was far more effective than usual.
McMaster is proven correct
After Tal’ Afar was cleared, the civilians were allowed to return. Their attitude toward Americans had completely changed. During one patrol, an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) lost a track.
Suddenly about 60 Iraqi men with tools appeared. They told the Americans to sit down and have tea, and then the Iraqis fixed the IFV.
The Battle of Tal’ Afar resulted in one of the most stunning documents ever produced, a letter from Mayor Najim Abdullah Najim al-Jibouri. You can read it here.
God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain.
They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land.
Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.
Being right means you’re wrong
McMaster’s approach to liberating Tal’ Afar became the model for General David Petraeus’s “troop surge.” But the US Army high command was upset that McMaster had ignored their failed ideas. Only intervention by Petraeus resulted in McMaster’s promotion to general. Prior to Donald Trump choosing McMaster as his National Security Adviser, the general was tucked away in the army’s training and doctrine command.
Tal’ Afar mayor Najim Abdullah Najim al-Jibouri is now Major General al-Jibouri, Iraqi Army, in command of the liberation of Mosul. Below, he thanks a left-handed little girl for “going on patrol.”
Relax: She’s not a genuine combatant.
Al-Jibouri moved to West Virginia, but he returned to Iraq to fight what should be the country’s final war.
“I love America,” al-Jibouri said. “And it gave us the worst government we ever had.”
THIS time, we’re listening to the locals. Al-Jibouri takes his life in his hands by walking the streets of Mosul. Note his bodyguard discreetly frisking an elderly man for a suicide belt.
As far as I know, the Iraqis have not lost any senior officers to suicide attacks or terrorists posing as soldiers or police. Amazingly, the camera was running when Federal Police Special Forces identified a terrorist masquerading as a fellow officer.
There are many ways for the Iraqi Police to tell terrorists from real cops. Of course I won’t reveal those methods.
McMaster is perfect for the job
Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster has the combat experience, diplomatic skills, intellectual capacity, courage, and selflessness to help President Trump navigate the massive changes taking place in the Middle East. He is the real thing. Ignore those who try to cast aspersions on his views of Islam. Those Johnny One Notes aren’t a soldier WHO TOTALLY DEFEATED THE ENEMY, is a fierce critic of incompetence, and is regarded as a legend by Iraqis in Tal’ Afar.
McMaster also understands that Americans aren’t the right people to fight ground wars in the Middle East. His men were emotionally exhausted by the time they left Tal’ Afar. The cultural differences are simply too vast to bridge.
And that’s fine.
It’s a new world. The old ways are dead. Bitching about language is pure stupidity. All that matters are accomplishments.