NSC loads up on retired military types
They tend to be smart, hardworking people open to innovative thinking.
I see that President Donald Trump’s pick for national security advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who already has called on retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg to serve as his deputy, has also signed up several other retired Army officers for National Security Council staff: Derek Harvey to overall Middle East, Joel Rayburn to handle Iraq/Iran, Michael Bell for Saudi/Yemen/Gulf Cooperation Council affairs, and Craig Deare (82nd Airborne/John Hopkins SAIS PhD) for Latin America. Matt Pottinger, who used to be a Marine intelligence officer, is already there in the China seat.
I know many of these people. (Rayburn and Harvey both appear in my book, The Gamble, about the surge phase in Iraq.) They tend to be smart, hardworking people open to innovative thinking. I don’t think they represent “militarization” (though a little diversity would be handy in reaching out to different elements in all these countries). Mainly, I wonder how they will react to someone who, unlike them, doesn’t believe in deeply studying their subjects. And what they will make of the Leninist tendencies of some of the White House civilians.
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense
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