Thursday, April 6, 2017
A Good Change On The NSC. Bannon Was Too Politicized.
Former Texas governor and current Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been added to a core advisory group within the National Security Council in a shakeup announced Wednesday that included the removal of White House aide Steve Bannon.
The Trump administration issued an updated list of the NSC’s Principals Committee, which added the energy secretary and no longer included Bannon.
Bannon’s initial appointment to the group in January had been seen by some as controversial, given his role as one of Trump’s top political advisers.
“Critics of Bannon’s role were worried he would politicize a body traditionally viewed as a candid and nonpartisan source of national security information to the president,” McClatchy reported.
Others on the Principals Committee, which was first established under President George H.W. Bush, include Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
After being named national security advisor in February following the resignation of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn, McMaster was given the authority to reorganize the NSC as he deemed necessary, including those who would be part of the Principals Committee.
Haley and Pompeo are new additions to the Principals Committee under McMaster, as well.
Perry served as governor of Texas from 2000-2015. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving as a pilot in the 1970s.
Heritage Foundation national security expert Dr. James Carafano told Western Journalism the addition of Perry to the Principals Committee “reflects the importance of the energy portfolio” to the Trump administration.
He surmised that Bannon’s original inclusion and subsequent removal from the committee is “mostly about optics.”
“I don’t think it reflects any change of his importance and value to the president or how foreign policy will get done,” Carafano said.
Bannon said in a statement released Wednesday he was taken off the committee because it had returned to a “de-operationalized” function.
“[Obama administration National Security Advisor] Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration” for political purposes, Bannon stated. “I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized. [National Security Advisor] General [H.R.] McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function.”
Pence also spoke to the reorganization in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, saying the move was “just a natural evolution to ensure the National Security Council is organized in a way that best serves the president in resolving and making those difficult decisions.”
What do you think?