The National Security Hole at the Heart of the Trump Transition

Foreign Policy

JAN 18, 2017

Thousands of key policymakers — from State to the Department of Defense — still need to be appointed to new positions. But nothing’s happening.

Last year, I signed an anti-Donald Trump letter that circulated among national security types and made crystal clear, in numerous articles, my opinion of Trump’s quasi-isolationist, protectionist campaign rhetoric. So I was not exactly waiting by the phone after the election for the transition to call and offer me some plum post.

Read more: The National Security Hole at the Heart of the Trump Transition

Donald Trump: A Modern Manchurian Candidate?

New York Times

JAN 11, 2017

In recent days, two intelligence dossiers have been published making sensational charges involving President-elect Donald J. Trump and the 2016 election. Although they will be lumped together in the public mind, in truth they are as different as chalk and cheese.

Read more: Donald Trump: A Modern Manchurian Candidate?

Trump is way off on Russia hack report

His reaction suggests a guilty conscience and the possibility that something sinister is going on.

USA Today

JAN 8, 2017

In the normal course of business, it’s hard to get America’s fractious intelligence agencies to agree that 2 + 2 = 4. So the unclassified version of the intelligence community assessment about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is all the more remarkable. In it, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA wrote with a “high degree” of confidence (itself rare in the intelligence world) that “Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” in order “to help President-elect Trump’s election chances.”

Read more: Trump is way off on Russia hack report

America’s Spies Need to Watch Their Backs

Foreign Policy

JAN 5, 2017

Donald Trump’s disparagement of the CIA and apparent plans to shake up the intelligence community are a serious threat to American security.

America’s spies spend their days monitoring foreign enemies. If they want to see the biggest threat to their own well-being, they may need to look closer to home. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the incoming Donald Trump administration is working on plans to “restructure and pare back” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, “cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world.” (Trump spokesman Sean Spicer denied this report, but his record for veracity is not exactly unimpeachable.)

Read more: America’s Spies Need to Watch Their Backs

Donald Trump’s Pivot Through Asia

Foreign Policy

DEC 27, 2016

President Obama’s signature rebalance to the Pacific never really got off the ground. Could Trump succeed where he failed?

President Barack Obama will have to wait until after he leaves office to see if some of his most touted foreign-policy achievements — such as the opening to Cuba and the Iranian nuclear deal — survive his presidency. But even before he exits, it is already obvious that his signature policy in East Asia, the “pivot” or “rebalance,” is deader than a dodo. And, no, it’s not just resting; it’s nailed to the perch.

Read more: Donald Trump’s Pivot Through Asia

Rex Tillerson could be a good secretary of state — but not in a Trump administration

Los Angeles Times

DEC 15, 2016

Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is by all accounts a shrewd, pragmatic and successful dealmaker. In another administration, he might have made an excellent secretary of State.

Read more: Rex Tillerson could be a good secretary of state — but not in a Trump administration

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“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal

 

"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

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