WASHINGTON, DC — The White House National Security Council (NSC) established “unrealistic expectations” in the last few years, but that will change under U.S. President Trump who has ordered his staff to approach the threats facing the American people with “pragmatic realism,” indicated Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.
McMaster suggested that Trump’s NSC has lowered their expectations to deal with security challenges in a more pragmatic manner.
Trump’s national security adviser Gen. McMaster spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the NSC.
Referring to NSC’s strategic competence, McMaster said:
In recent years, I think you can make the argument that we swung from maybe unrealistic expectations about the degree of agency and control we have over very complicated situations to almost defeatism and withdraw from certain contested spaces and battlegrounds.
So, what the president has directed us to do is approach the national security challenges problems and opportunities from a perspective of pragmatic realism to and prioritize the safety and security of the American people. To emphasize the connection between security and American prosperity in new ways. So we integrated what we’re doing from an economic perspective with what we’re doing from a military, and diplomatic perspective in new and different was.
He went to say that the NSC is promoting “peace through strength” and exploring new deterrence mechanisms, all while advancing American influence.
McMaster noted that it is “American partners and allies and like-minded nations that give us our unique strength and influence across the world. So these are ideas that underpin the development of our integrated strategies and certainly will underpin the national security strategy as well.”
He suggested that the NSC set “unrealistic” goals for itself as it grew to its current size of about 367 members, but noted that the Trump administration is trying to reduce the size of the council.
His comments come on the heels of a heated battle for control of the NSC, which started when he took over control from his predecessor retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Purging the various staffers hired Flynn was one of the outcomes of the quarrel for control of the NSC.