January 30, 2017

THE NSC REORGANIZATION KERFUFFLE: In terms of organizing and sizing the National Security Council, Trump can do just about anything he wants. The NSC works for him. He can staff it to meet his needs. To say he can’t is Fake News.

The UPI dispatch covers the basics.

Trump also has pared the council to six deputy national security advisers, compared to the 23 on Obama’s council.

Long overdue. Obama stacked his NSC with cronies. Loyalty to him came first. Having political chums or relatives in the mainstream media was an additional qualifier. It sure wasn’t military experience or other types of rubber-meets-the-road national security experience.

Last night Glenn fisked Susan Rice’s latest act of naked hypocrisy. “The troika made up of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most disastrous foreign policy crew in American history.” Glenn was elaborating on this post at booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com.

Trump has decided to downgrade NSC participation by the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, they are statutory advisers. Former SecDef Robert Gates is concerned about that.

“My biggest concern is there are actually, under the law, two statutory advisers to the National Security Council, and that’s the director of [national] intelligence, or the DNI, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,” Robert Gates, secretary of defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told ABC News. “They both bring a perspective and judgment and experience… that every president — whether they like it or not — finds useful.”

However, the mainstream media and usual suspects are acting like the DNI and Chairman JCS are out of the loop. They aren’t. The BBC reports they’ll attend NSC Principals Committee meetings when discussions pertain to their areas.

This ABC News headline indicates we’re dealing with another anti-Trump tantrum. “Trump Gives Controversial Adviser Bannon Seat at Security Council Principals Meetings.

However, ABC does concede that Trump’s reorganization isn’t radical at all:

The invitation-only status of the Joint Chiefs chairman and director of national intelligence is similar to a policy instituted under President George W. Bush.

Another Bush-era policy re-instituted in Trump’s memorandum is separating the Homeland Security Council from the NSC, which President Obama had previously merged.

While it’s not abnormal for presidents to restructure the makeup of their National Security Council, the addition of Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart News, to the Principals Committee has brought scrutiny over the adviser’s influence in Trump’s inner circle.

I think the Dems and their media pals have gone tantrum-tilt because Trump wants Steve Bannon to serve on the NSC. During the campaign Dems and the mainstream media committed themselves to the narrative that Bannon is Rasputin and Hitler and etc. Is he a political adviser? Yes. However, Bannon was also a naval officer. The UPI release mentions that George W. Bush barred Karl Rove from attending NSC meetings. OK. Rove was a political adviser but he never served in the military. Bush was a USAF reserve pilot. Bush combined political experience and military experience. Like Obama, Trump has no personal military experience. Bannon has political savvy and military experience. In this light Bannon very likely meets a need Trump perceives. So Trump hires him. Did Obama perceive a similar inadequacy in himself? Of course he didn’t. Obama, the purveyor of Smart Diplomacy, was always the smartest guy in the room. Obama’s national security record? Why, it’s dismal. Perhaps he could have used a Steve Bannon.

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