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
    • July 10, 2020
    Vladimir Putin and the Future of Russian Politics, with Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza

    Ambassador (ret.) Michael McFaul and Vladimir Kara-Murza join Andrea-Kendall Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss recent anti-democratic developments in Russian politics and U.S...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Michael A. McFaul & Vladimir Kara-Murza

  • Podcast
    • June 26, 2020
    Defense Priorities in a New Administration, with Michèle Flournoy

    Michèle Flournoy joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss how a Biden administration can work with NATO to confront transnational threats. Flournoy has been a l...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Michèle Flournoy

  • Commentary
    • Real Clear World
    • June 24, 2020
    Duda’s Unnecessary Gamble

    Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit the White House on Wednesday, a mere four days before the first round of Poland’s presidential election. While the United States and P...

    By Adam Twardowski & Carisa Nietsche

  • Podcast
    • June 19, 2020
    Germany, Nuclear Sharing, and the U.S. Drawdown with Ulrike Franke and Frank Sauer

    Ulrike Franke and Frank Sauer join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to break down the U.S. proposal to drawdown in Germany, nuclear sharing, and more on a joint Brussels...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Ulrike Franke & Frank Sauer

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia