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.
More from CNAS
PodcastFormer top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld (ret.) speaks with Robert Work, the 32nd United States Deputy Secretary of Defense for both...
By Robert O. Work
CommentaryThe Case for a Pacific Deterrence Initiative
When war broke out in Ukraine in 2014 the Department of Defense moved swiftly to invest billions in near-term enhancements in Europe to address growing military-operational sh...
By Randy Schriver & Eric Sayers
VideoArmy trade-offs within FY21 budget
Susanna Blume, senior fellow and director of the Defense Program at CNAS, discusses the Army leadership’s approach to the FY21 budget. Watch the full conversation in Governme...
By Susanna V. Blume
PodcastThe Overseas Basing Debate, Part 2
Host Kathleen Hicks continues a discussion with Susanna Blume, Zack Cooper, and Dave Ochmanek on the major debates surrounding U.S. overseas military forces. Listen to the fu...
By Susanna V. Blume