February 02, 2017

Bannon’s ‘Strategic Initiatives’ Cabal Inside the NSC Is Dangerous Hypocrisy

By Julianne Smith and Derek Chollet

It has been a tough few days for the National Security Council. The news that Trump’s political guru Stephen Bannon secured a place on the NSC’s Principals Committee was troubling enough, but the creation of a Bannon-led “Strategic Initiatives Group” within the NSC further erodes its stature, independence, and influence.

We would be the first to say that the NSC is imperfect. As two people who worked in President Barack Obama’s White House, and who were designated to lead Hillary Clinton’s NSC “landing team” had she won the presidency, we’ve thought a lot about how to make the NSC and interagency process work better — something we’ll have a lot more to say about at Shadow Government. For now, suffice to say that in almost every way, Trump’s team has done the opposite of what we would suggest. This kind of “disruption” may feel good right now and may send Washington’s Twitterverse into apoplectic frenzy — but Trump will soon learn that it will only bring dysfunction, and likely worse. Dust off your histories of Iran-Contra to get a sense of what may come.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.

  • Podcast
    • August 10, 2022
    The Latest Phase of the War in Ukraine, with Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds

    Has the war in Ukraine reached a critical turning point? Mike Kofman and Jeff Edmonds join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss the evolution of the military situ...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Michael Kofman & Jeffrey Edmonds

  • Podcast
    • August 5, 2022
    Political Churn in Europe, with Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook and Max Bergmann

    What do the recent upheavals in European politics mean for the future of transatlantic cooperation? Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook and Max Bergmann join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook & Max Bergmann

  • Podcast
    • July 27, 2022
    Ukraine's Window of Opportunity?

    With military circles abuzz that Ukraine might be preparing to launch a counter-offensive against Russian-held Kherson, Michael Kofman of CNA’s Russia team joins War on the Ro...

    By Michael Kofman

  • Podcast
    • July 25, 2022
    The State of EU-China Relations, with Noah Barkin and Francesca Ghiretti

    What have been the latest key developments in EU-China relations? Noah Barkin and Francesca Ghiretti join Carisa Nietsche and Jim Townsend to discuss milestones in the relatio...

    By Carisa Nietsche, Jim Townsend, Noah Barkin & Francesca Ghiretti

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia