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McMaster Has Russia In A Meltdown Already, And He Hasn’t Even Started

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Russian officials are already worried that President Donald Trump’s new national security advisor, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, could pose a threat to the Kremlin’s interests.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on McMaster’s appointment Tuesday, but a prominent member of the Russian upper-parliament’s Defense and Security Committee warned that McMaster was a “100 percent hawk” who posed a threat to Russian interests.

“Washington’s defense and intelligence wing will conduct Russophobic policies,” said Frants Klintsevich, as quoted by Russia’s state-run RIA news agency.

Viktor Ozyorov, the chairman of the committee, expressed a more measured view, noting that it will be Trump who will have final say on actual policy.

McMaster represents a major departure from his predecessor, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, when it comes to Russia policy. Flynn was in favor of smoothing relations with Russia, whereas McMaster has been critical of Russian aggression. McMaster claimed in 2016 that the Kremlin’s goal was to “collapse the post-Cold War security, economic, and political order in Europe and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.”

Prior to taking over for Flynn, McMaster spent the last three years heading up the Army Capabilities Integration Center where he oversaw the Russia New Generation Warfare Study, a project aimed at exploring ways to counter the Russian military.

Trump expressed interest in potentially reaching out to Russia during his campaign, however, several of his top advisors are known Russian critics. In addition to McMaster, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly have both warned of the Russian threat to the U.S.


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