April 06, 2017

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

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
    • Breaking Defense
    • May 29, 2024
    Differentiating Innovation: From Performance Art to Production Scale

    The Department of Defense has an innovation problem, and it’s not the one you are probably thinking about. Certainly, the Department needs to improve its ability to move with ...

    By Andrew Metrick

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • May 21, 2024
    The Pentagon Isn’t Buying Enough Ammo

    Even in today’s constrained budget environment, the U.S. Defense Department needs to do more to prioritize munitions buys and prove it has learned the lessons of Ukraine....

    By Stacie Pettyjohn & Hannah Dennis

  • Reports
    • May 10, 2024
    Space to Grow

    Executive Summary In the more than 50 years since the first satellite launch, space has become irrevocably intertwined with the American way of life and the American way of wa...

    By Hannah Dennis

  • Commentary
    • May 8, 2024
    Sharper: Nuclear Deterrence

    The United States faces two determined near-peer competitors with robust conventional military forces and increasingly advanced nuclear arsenals. In the Indo-Pacific, the Peop...

    By Philip Sheers, Anna Pederson & Alexa Whaley

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia