Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | ISIS/Islamic State | National Security Council | Officers

WSJ: Trump Packing National Security Council With Military Officers

Image: WSJ: Trump Packing National Security Council With Military Officers

Gen. Michael Flynn (AP)

By    |   Friday, 27 Jan 2017 11:46 AM

President Donald Trump is staffing the National Security Council with active and retired military officials, more than any president since Ronald Reagan, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Officials told the Journal that Trump wants to fulfill his campaign pledges to go after the Islamic State and to take a tough stance on Iran. Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn is behind the "deliberate militarization" of the council, one official told the Journal.

Appointees include retired Army Col. Derek Harvey to oversee Middle East affairs. He formerly worked in counterinsurgency at the Pentagon’s Central Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the Journal.

Gen. David Petraeus called Harvey his "favorite intelligence officer," according to Weekly Standard.

Other appointees include Army Col. Joe Rayburn, who will work on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Syria, as well as other Mideast regions; Matthew Pottinger, a Flynn aide, will oversee Asia affairs, the Journal reported.

While the appointees are noted for their skill at fighting terrorism, some concern exists that now there are not enough with diplomatic experience. During President Barack Obama's tenure, the council contained mostly diplomats and strategists, the Journal said.

"My concern, beyond the military bent, is that much of the experience seems tactical. The Middle East today has a lot of strategic crosswinds," Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress told the Journal.

The Journal noted that a couple of Trump's National Security Council come from non-military sources: Christopher Ford was a State Department official under George W. Bush, and Victoria Coates was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's national security adviser.

Flynn's assembly of military staff concerns some inside and outside the administration, according to an opinion piece Jan. 21 by Washington Post writer Josh Rogin. One transition official told Rogin that Flynn often said, "We're going to have people who have looked down a rifle scope."

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President Donald Trump is staffing the National Security Council with active and retired military officials, more than any president since Ronald Reagan, according to The Wall Street Journal. Officials told the Journal that Trump wants to fulfill his campaign pledges to go...
National Security Council, Officers
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2017-46-27
Friday, 27 Jan 2017 11:46 AM
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