The visit of the General McMaster comes shortly after the visits of Indian NSA Ajit Kumar Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to the United States, who had meetings with Trump administration officials in March.
A celebrated officer in the U.S. Army, General McMaster is also expected to touch down in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the trip, where he served with the the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul in 2010.
During his visit to New Delhi, the the U.S. NSA is expected to deliver an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Washington D.C. in the week of June 12.
The cavalry officer has been awarded the Silver Star (the U.S. armed forces three highest decoration for gallantry and roughly equivalent to a Vir Chakra in the Indian armed forces), as well as, a Purple Heart, which is awarded for sustaining injury in service. Interestingly, his Indian counterpart Ajit Kumar Doval, a former police and intelligence officer, is also the recipient of the Kirti Chakra, which is India’s second highest award for gallantry in peacetime and is ordinarily awarded to military personnel.
The Obama administration had discussed cooperation on intelligence sharing with respect to the leadership of specific terrorist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as, Chinese naval activities in the Indian Ocean. It remains to be seen if these will form part of the agenda for the Trump administration.
General McMaster was listed by Time magazine as one of 100 Most Influential People in 2014 as ‘the architect of the future U.S. Army’.
Despite impressive command and unconventional exploits in the second Iraq war, the outspoken McMaster was passed over twice for selection for his first star. I watched senior Army generals argue over ways to end his career. But he dodged those bullets and will soon take over command of the Army’s “futures” center. – Lieutenant General Dave Barno (retired), commander of all U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005
His leadership as a captain in command of a troop of cavalry during the Battle of 73 Easting in which nine U.S. tanks destroyed over 80 Iraqi tanks without loss in the 1991 Gulf War is extensively cited in Tom Clancy’s book Armored Cav. He also served as professor of military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As part of his PhD, he authored the book Dereliction of Duty in which criticized the U.S. military leadership during the Vietnam War.