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.

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