April 06, 2017

Why Was Steve Bannon Booted From the National Security Council: Three Theories

By Phillip Carter

Even without the Russian intrigues of the nascent Trump administration, now would be a time for Kremlinology. Just as intelligence officers used to scrutinize every possible clue coming out of Moscow for theories about actions taken or considered by the Soviet Politburo, so too do swamp dwellers and observers like me watch every sign coming from the White House for indications of where the Trump administration may go in the months ahead.

The latest signals come in the form of a new structure for the National Security Council, first reported by Bloomberg. Under now-fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the NSC controversially included White House strategist Steve Bannon in its meetings and distribution roster. The new NSC structure boots Bannon and adds back other important officials like the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—a more conventional structure that mirrors the decades-old statute outlining the NSC’s makeup and function.

We should probably applaud Bannon’s ejection from the NSC. However, the deeper meaning behind the new order remains elusive, as is often the case with all Kremlinology problems (or soothsaying with pigeon entrails—take your pick). This order reflects at least three possible scenarios for what is truly going on behind the walls of the Trump White House.

Read the full article at Slate.

  • Commentary
    • August 3, 2020
    Institutional Roadblocks to the Defense Department’s Adoption of AI

    Bureaucratic inertia, stemming in part from deep-rooted institutional and cultural resistance, has hampered DoD’s ability to rapidly develop, acquire, and deploy AI capabiliti...

    By Megan Lamberth & Martijn Rasser

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • July 29, 2020
    Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

    The United States and its allies should take seriously Beijing’s efforts to militarize China’s technological base....

    By Anja Manuel & Kathleen Hicks

  • Commentary
    • July 27, 2020
    Make China the Explicit Priority in the Next NDS

    The Bottom Line The new NDS is an opportunity for the next Secretary of Defense in January 2021 to do three things: Further deepen and explicitly state the current NDS’s sound...

    By Mark Montgomery & Eric Sayers

  • Commentary
    • July 23, 2020
    The Defense Industrial Base of the Future

    The next iteration of defense technologies will require much more overlap with commercial industry....

    By Mikhail Grinberg

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia