If not in individuals then certainly in groups. Particularly in groups of men in which each individual attempts to establish his will as dominant. Each fears failure and loss of affection, and yet the will to dominate causes failure and loss of affection, thus increasing fear. It is a compelling story, made more so The Presidential Psycho-drama of Fear War originates from psychosis.

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According to McMaster, The White House played the service chiefs against one another to keep them occupied, and ignored their advice. The narrative is constructed through the examination and interpretation of four key decisions made early in the Johnson Administration: the August Tonkin Gulf Resolution; the February decision to conduct air strikes against North Vietnam; the March decision to introduce American ground troops into Vietnam; and the July decisions to introduce substantial US forces while not mobilizing the reserves.

In describing each decision, the author details the conflicting views and goals of President Johnson and his principal advisors, especially the Joint Chiefs of Staff. McMaster states that between , LBJ regarded the Vietnam issue as an unwanted, secondary demand on resources that he wished to devote to enacting his Great Society domestic program.

Through the cautious employment of minimal military means, President Johnson fought behind-the-scenes to bring about a condition favorable to both the interests of the US and the South Vietnamese. He also had political fears; the President was further worried that increasing US participation in the war would adversely affect his prospects for election and later reelection. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his "whiz kid" staff developed new concepts of warfighting, integrating technological and data processing advances to resolve the Vietnam problem, while rejecting military advice about which they knew or cared little McNamara himself was a direct commission officer who left the military as a Lieutenant Colonel served directly under the Chief of Staff of the Air Force , and marginalizing the chiefs.

However, the Chiefs were not without fault; while the strategies they developed were ignored and they were excluded from the senior planning process, they allowed themselves to be pacified with promises that would benefit their respective services. McMaster incorporates a number of papers from the Historical Division of the Joint Secretariat, personal papers of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, and primary source books from the key players from the inception of the Department of Defense, to the beginning of the Vietnam War, onwards.

The author presents a strong critique of two administrations that looked upon the professional military officers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with disdain. Despite the strong argument that the Kennedy and Johnson administrations marginalized the Joint Chiefs, had their advice been heeded, it is unclear whether or not the war effort would have been any more successful.


Dereliction of Duty

McMaster, would bring order and professionalism to the vital office that Flynn—who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his activities as national security adviser designate—had abused. To generate sound policy, the interagency process led by the national security adviser requires the collegial consideration of a generous range of official viewpoints and perspectives. McMaster; drawing by Siegfried Woldhek Flynn had been unlikely to foster that kind of open conversation. He was a shrill Islamophobe and right-wing ideologue who tolerated no disagreement and recruited acolytes he had groomed in previous active-service positions. As an active-duty soldier, McMaster probably felt compelled to accept the job out of deference to the commander-in-chief—whoever he or she was. McMaster had performed brilliantly in the first Gulf War, earning a Silver Star for gallantry in leading a tank assault that destroyed a much larger Iraqi force, and he became the exemplar of US counterinsurgency prowess in pacifying Tal Afar early in the post—September 11 US occupation of Iraq.


Dereliction of Duty Reconsidered: The Book that Made the National Security Advisor

Early life[ edit ] McMaster was born in Philadelphia on July 24, He earned a commission as a second lieutenant upon graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in McMaster earned a Master of Arts and Ph. His thesis was critical of American strategy in the Vietnam War , which was further detailed in his book Dereliction of Duty McMaster have lunch with service members on July 18, The now famous battle is featured in several books about Operation Desert Storm and is widely referred to in US Army training exercises.


H. R. McMaster




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