If the only measure of national security success during a president’s first 100 days were avoiding catastrophe, then, OK, President Trump has succeeded. No attacks on the U.S., no new wars, and no nuclear Armageddon—these are good things, and in the moment we can breathe a sigh of relief.
However, those outcomes arguably owe more to the national security machine built by Trump’s predecessors than any decisions of the 45th president. By any other benchmark, Trump has failed at national security and foreign policy. Trump’s failures of personnel, process, and policy have combined to create a perfect storm of insecurity.
There’s an old Washington cliché, “Personnel is policy.” The saw reflects the wisdom that any president’s agenda depends on his political appointees to refine and implement that vision. Trump’s White House has failed first and most spectacularly in this requirement, both by building a dysfunctional White House and National Security Council, and by failing to staff his national security agencies with the appointees necessary to oversee and direct foreign policy.
Read the full article at Slate.