The Cable

Another General and a Right-Wing Firebrand for Trump’s NSC

He oversaw the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. She wrote a book on "what the bleep just happened."

firebrand

On Thursday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump announced two additions to his National Security Council, which is expected to be helmed by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Another general, Lt. Gen. Joseph “Keith” Kellogg, is tapped for NSC chief of staff, while television analyst Monica Crowley will be the council’s senior director of strategic communications.

Kellog, who would become the fourth retired general to join the Trump administration, retired from the U.S. Army in 2003. Then, as a contractor for Oracle Corp, he went to Iraq to be Chief Operating Officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the governing authority in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion, where he served for five months.  

A statement by the Trump transition team read, “In this role, Kellogg oversaw the efforts to form the new Iraqi military after it was disbanded, as well as the reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure.” Neither were glowing successes. The disbanding of the Iraqi military — a decision that predated Kellogg — is widely considered to have created a security vacuum and public unrest that contributed to the rise of Sunni extremism in post-war Iraq. Even a decade later, despite billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, the Iraqi army melted away when confronted with the 2014 onslaught of the Islamic State.

Monica Crowley, who has a Ph.D. in international relations from Columbia University and worked most recently as a political analyst for Fox News, was a foreign policy assistant and communications director to former President Richard Nixon from 1990 to 1994. She’s become notorious for her anti-Muslim positions, decrying the Obama administration’s reluctance to use the term “radical Islam,” and has called the refugee crisis “jihad by another name” and an “occupation” by Muslims.

Crowley, like Trump, is also a big fan of walls, tweeting in October 2015 from Berlin — where a concrete barrier sundered the heart of Europe for nearly 40 years — that “walls work.”

Crowley, who would be likely play a role akin to that of creative-writing student Ben Rhodes in the Obama administration, is also a published writer. She has authored Nixon off the Record, Nixon in Winter, and What the (Bleep) Just Happened . . . Again?: The Happy Warrior’s Guide to the Great American Comeback, the readers of which, at least according to Amazon, also bought Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again by one Donald J. Trump.

Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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