January 30, 2017

"I think the Dems and their media pals have gone tantrum-tilt because Trump wants Steve Bannon to serve on the NSC."

"During the campaign Dems and the mainstream media committed themselves to the narrative that Bannon is Rasputin and Hitler and etc. Is he a political adviser? Yes. However, Bannon was also a naval officer. The UPI release mentions that George W. Bush barred Karl Rove from attending NSC meetings. OK. Rove was a political adviser but he never served in the military. Bush was a USAF reserve pilot. Bush combined political experience and military experience. Like Obama, Trump has no personal military experience. Bannon has political savvy and military experience. In this light Bannon very likely meets a need Trump perceives. So Trump hires him. Did Obama perceive a similar inadequacy in himself? Of course he didn’t. Obama, the purveyor of Smart Diplomacy, was always the smartest guy in the room. Obama’s national security record? Why, it’s dismal. Perhaps he could have used a Steve Bannon."

Writes Austin Bay. He also links to this, by Glenn Reynolds:
OUCH:
Susan Rice, policy wonk and former Dukakis & Clinton aide, who had no military experience whatsoever* before getting tapped as National Security Advisor by the Obama administration in 2013, blasts Trump’s decision to “remove military advice” from the National Security Council.

Conveniently not mentioned is that Rice was replaced as National Security Advisor by LTG Michael T. “Mike” Flynn, USA (Ret).

I swear, Susan, self awareness is so rare these days it should be considered a f$cking super power.
The troika made up of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most disastrous foreign policy crew in American history. She’s got no room to talk.
Here's the Susan Rice tweet referenced above:
This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or intell to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?

71 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Lest one forget some other facts

Bannion has a master's degree in National Security Studies

General Jones, was Obama's first NSA, replaced by Tom Donilon, a white shoe lawyer, whose only Political/Military/Diplomatic experience was 3 years as the Clinton State Dept PR guy.

And don't get me started on Ben Rhodes, whose only Political/Military/Diplomatic experience is an MFA in creative writing...

Original Mike said...

Ben freakin' Rhodes.

Big Mike said...

Bay and Reynolds are both right.

Michael K said...

I love it. Ivanka 2024.

Edmund said...

I read the executive order. It's being willfully misconstrued.

The Chairman of the JCS and the DNI are still on the full NSC as advisors. What has changed is that they, along with some others, are no longer on the smaller policy committee. If policy issues that need their input are to be discussed by the policy group, they will be invited to attend. It's not wrong for the JCS to not be involved in non-military policy as we want civilians making military policy.

Also, cutting the size of the NSC is not a bad idea. From my experience, any policy group that gets too large spends too damn much time on debate and stroking egos. And sending each other memos.

Nonapod said...

At this point, why anyone would take anything Susan lie-to-your-face Rice has to say seriously (esp. regarding things like foreign affairs, national security, the military) is honestly beyond me. Good lord.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Where the rubber meets the road is whether Trump get AND listen to good advice and reject bad advice. The past week has been a mixed bag on whether he is getting good advice or not listening to it. At the very least, the results have been spotty. Some okay, some not.

Rick said...

You'd think political people would take 5 seconds to consider how their criticism applies to their team. Then they could rework those criticisms they failed into something which is at least defensibly different. But they don't, largely because the media has never trained them to do this and when Althouse tries it they call her a conservative.

Keep up the good work media!

Remorse said...

Removing Steve Bannon from the White House should be Trump's first and most important step to avoid a very early impeachment.

The Drill SGT said...

The Obamites and the MSM, can't decide on the best attack.

Last week it was too many Generals on the NSC, Mattis has a seat as SecDef, Kelly has a seat as SecDHS, Fkynn has a Seat as NSA, and Kellogg is the NSC Secretary.

This week it's too few Generals if the CJCS doesn't go to all the meetings, just the ones with Defense implications. Same with the DNI, but of course if the DNI wants to impact policy, he can just sit in every day on the President's Daily Intel Brief

Jack Wayne said...

Trump has the media so whip-sawed that they can't focus. If only Bush had been this smart and this active. And dare I mention how lazy Obama was?

Tommy Duncan said...

Does the cognitive dissonance bother the rest of you?

Ctmom4 said...

Wrong, Drill Sgt.! Ben Rhodes is a fine arts dropout!

Michael K said...

Blogger Remorse said...
Removing Steve Bannon from the White House should be Trump's first and most important step to avoid a very early impeachment.


Inga, is that you with a new ID ?

It's getting hard to keep track of the trolls.

Achilles said...

Remorse said...
Removing Steve Bannon from the White House should be Trump's first and most important step to avoid a very early impeachment.

That pussy hat you are wearing is making you a fucking idiot.

bgates said...

It's getting hard to keep track of the trolls.

Here's a helpful mnemonic: just remember that nobody gives a damn who any of them are.

Achilles said...

Tommy Duncan said...
Does the cognitive dissonance bother the rest of you?

No. The tears are tasty. The meltdown is glorious. Bannon and Trump are obliterating what is left of the leftists.

Maybe they will come out of this as an actual useful opposition party.

The Drill SGT said...

Tommy Duncan said...
Does the cognitive dissonance bother the rest of you?


Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.


what we are hearing are lamentations :)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

GWB intentionally kept Rove far away from any security-related info meetings. GWB's Attorney General Ashcroft at several key moments acted as a brake on law enforcement and/or intelligence agency overreach. GWB and his cabinet acted with integrity, even when they made some mistakes, and his Administration passed up MANY opportunities to use the security concerns of the nation for their own (partisan) political purposes.

GWB was trashed in the Media and popular culture, daily, for most of a decade. He was accused of all manner of horrible things, not least of which was manipulating the nation's alert status for political gain and/or making national security decisions based on political concerns.

GWB left office with a terrible approval rating and the sneers and condemnation of the Media.

Miss him yet?

Bad Lieutenant said...

And Tommy Vietor? Who dat?

Achilles said...

The Drill SGT said...

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

what we are hearing are lamentations :)


One of the Top 5 movie lines of all time. Competing with "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

Thread winner.

AReasonableMan said...

Bill said...
The troika made up of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most disastrous foreign policy crew in American history. She’s got no room to talk.


A nothing burger compared to the disastrous policies of the Bush White House. It will prove just as difficult for Trump to extricate our country from the firestorm started by those dumbasses as it did for Obama.

Big Mike said...

Miss him yet?

Only for eight years and ten days.

The Drill SGT said...

Achilles said...
One of the Top 5 movie lines of all time. Competing with "I find your lack of faith disturbing.


I prefer: "Darth Vader: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further. "

Bay Area Guy said...

Newsflash: Former NSA (Rice) disagrees with new NSA.

Whoopdy-do.

Michael K said...

"A nothing burger compared to the disastrous policies of the Bush White House. "

The only disastrous policy of the Bush White House was putting Bremer in charge of the post-invasion government. Bush was far too trusting of the State Department, which Trump will do a thorough cleansing of.

The left was egging on Saddam with all the stories of starving children and encouraging the collapse of the sanctions.

Some were really nuts and volunteering to be "human shields."

Were you there, ARM ?

Original Mike said...

"A nothing burger compared to the disastrous policies of the Bush White House. It will prove just as difficult for Trump to extricate our country from the firestorm started by those dumbasses as it did for Obama."

Bush started the firestorm in the Middle East. Who knew?

JAORE said...

"... to avoid a very early impeachment."

For eight years I've seen postings like: THIS will lead to the impeachment of Obama!, or Obama will be in jail because.... usually just a (cherry picked) phrase or a policy that the hard right opposed. Nothing burgers all around.

For eight years I thought, "You idiots have a stupidly low bar for what leads to impeachment."

Sigh, it begins again. Earlier and stupider.

Sally327 said...

The Democrats don't have much in the way of star power when it comes to national security / defense issues do they? They used to have Wesley Clark popping up here and there, and at least he was a General, but I don't think he's around anymore. So they're left with Susan Rice and Samantha Power, people who no longer have a seat at the table and can only wail from a distance about how it's all so wrong, wrong, wrong.

AReasonableMan said...

Get back to us when Trump has managed to stop wasting American lives and treasure in pointless middle east conflicts.

The Drill SGT said...

AReasonableMan said...
Get back to us when Trump has managed to stop wasting American lives and treasure in pointless middle east conflicts.


I'll settle for his talk about ISIL. e.g.

"Fight to win or go home"

David said...

Bannon is apparently an evil blend of Cheney, Rove, Rasputin, Goebels and (remember him?) Lee Atwater. Atwater, who died at 40 of a brain tumor, would be 66 now. The Democrats are lucky Atwater was not around for the last 26 years. He was an original and very effective.

David said...

As to military on the NCS, first Trump was appointing too many generals. Now not enough. So confusing.

David said...

That's NSC.

Freder Frederson said...

Bannon served seven years. I imagine he served honorably and left as a Lieutenant (O-3). He apparently served aboard ships as a Surface Warfare officer. As noble as it may be, serving as a field grade officer does not remotely qualify you to be on the NSC, where the military officers also on the council are O-10s with at least 30 years of service and vast strategic experience.

JRoberts said...

If Susan Rice gets any more concerned about President Trump's NSC, she may have to resort to making a cardboard sign with a hashtag on it.

Maybe she can recruit some help from that airhead Marie Harf who is now on Fox.

Seeing Red said...

So now you can get impeached for appointing people?


Huh?

Hello, FDR.

Seeing Red said...

We might think they're pointless. Unfortunately, they don't.

Something about you're not looking for war, but war is looking for you.

Seeing Red said...

In short, "Stay Frosty!"

JPS said...

Freder,

Field grade is O4 and up. I don't know what the Navy calls their company-grade officers.

There is indeed a big difference between a junior officer and a GO/FO. Not, however, as big a difference as there is between a civilian and a junior officer, when it comes to analyzing national security challenges.

Achilles said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
"Bannon served seven years. I imagine he served honorably and left as a Lieutenant (O-3). He apparently served aboard ships as a Surface Warfare officer. As noble as it may be, serving as a field grade officer does not remotely qualify you to be on the NSC, where the military officers also on the council are O-10s with at least 30 years of service and vast strategic experience."

Ben Rhoades. Susan Rice. Samantha Powers.

And Bannon has a masters degree in national securities studies as well. Probably worthless but you hypocrites usually put a lot of store in that sort of thing.

Humperdink said...

Of the many questions to Sean Spicer was asked this morning on Morning Rino was (paraphrasing): "How in the world can you have a political hack, Steve Bannon, sit in on the NSC meetings?"

Spicer responded (also paraphrasing): "Obama had noted 4-star general, medal-of-honor winner, CIA expert, fighter pilot, astronaut, former POW, David Axelrod attend the same NSC meetings".

(I may have exaggerated Axelshaft's credentials a bit, but the gist of his answer was clear. Axelshaft, political hack, was in attendance.)

Freder Frederson said...

Not, however, as big a difference as there is between a civilian and a junior officer, when it comes to analyzing national security challenges.

Give me a freaking break, perhaps some specialties require extensive knowledge of national security challenges, but not combat arms. Their job is to "take that hill, shoot down that plane, or shell that ship." To claim that a few years of military service imbues someone with a knowledge of national security that no civilian can match glorifies the military way too much. A foreign service official with seven years experience would have a lot more directly applicable experience than a O-3 in the military.

Michael K said...

As noble as it may be, serving as a field grade officer does not remotely qualify you to be on the NSC, where the military officers also on the council are O-10s with at least 30 years of service and vast strategic experience.

Thank god we have military experts like Freder who has probably never heard the phrase "Trust no one above the rank of colonel."

I'll bet he has not read HR McMaster's book, "Dereliction of Duty." I think he was a LC when he wrote it.

How did you get your Medal of Honor, Freder ?

The Drill SGT said...

JPS said...
There is indeed a big difference between a junior officer and a GO/FO. Not, however, as big a difference as there is between a civilian and a junior officer, when it comes to analyzing national security challenges.


I don't think the challenges thing is as important as understanding the morale responsibility that the US has to those we send in harms way, be they military, the State Department or even the Peace Corps. That unwritten contract that says, "we are sending you out to the ends of the earth, (in Mil speak, the pointy end of the spear), in the service of the US, and if something bad happens, we are committed to use the full power of the US to get you home, alive, if possible, and making whoever harmed you pay full price".

That is something that the NSC lost track of when they met while the Benghazi Consulate was under fire.

a Navy O-3 Can understand that. Apparently, not enough NSC people on Sep 11, 2012 did.

The Drill SGT said...

I meant moral, not morale, but morale figures into our contract as well :)

Drago said...

Freder: "Give me a freaking break, perhaps some specialties require extensive knowledge of national security challenges, but not combat arms. Their job is to "take that hill, shoot down that plane, or shell that ship." To claim that a few years of military service imbues someone with a knowledge of national security that no civilian can match glorifies the military way too much. A foreign service official with seven years experience would have a lot more directly applicable experience than a O-3 in the military"

LOL

Yeah, lets take a moment to hear from Field Marshall Freder!!

Opine on Dear Warrior Philosopher!

Hilarious.

Jack Wayne said...

At the daily gaggle, the squirrel of the day was the lack of the word Jew in Trump's holocaust message. It's odd the things that make lefties' heads explode.

Drago said...

We have reached "Peak Idiot Lefty" when Freder feels qualified to lecture on National Security matters!

JPS said...

Freder,

Give you a freaking break? Happy to - but The Drill SGT's comment, and not yours, makes me say, Yes: Wish I'd put it that way, thank you.

Your rather dismissive synopsis of what the combat arms require of junior leaders - and you'll have to forgive me for wondering what your personal experience of these may be - overlooks the fact that a Navy lieutenant, or an Army/Air Force/Marine captain, suddenly challenged to think several echelons above his/her previous responsibility, will tend to translate the big-picture challenge to the smaller-scale: What will this mean to those actually carrying it out? I won't say that's impossible for a lifelong civilian but it's always going to be harder. This is part of why I cheered The Dril SGT's comment.

Birkel said...

The Left has no mooring whatever.

I tried to write a longer and perhaps substance-filled comment but that was what it all meant. They are trying to prove that any port in a storm is wrong. And that better than nothing is not only a good standard but an impossible one for Leftists.

The institutions that mattered are destroying themselves from within. They will be hard to rebuild.

damikesc said...

Bannon served seven years. I imagine he served honorably and left as a Lieutenant (O-3). He apparently served aboard ships as a Surface Warfare officer. As noble as it may be, serving as a field grade officer does not remotely qualify you to be on the NSC, where the military officers also on the council are O-10s with at least 30 years of service and vast strategic experience.

So, his educational study was on foreign policy. He has military experience.

Still not good enough.

Interesting.

To claim that a few years of military service imbues someone with a knowledge of national security that no civilian can match glorifies the military way too much.

Man, you guys ran a campaign in 2004 specifically claiming that.

Drago said...

damikesc: "Man, you guys ran a campaign in 2004 specifically claiming that."

Not quite just that.

the lefties simultaneously argued that a Reserve Fighter Interceptor pilot was a draft dodger, LOL.

The left just can't help themselves and they are accelerating their downward spiral and it is absolutely glorious!

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM:

Bill said...
"The troika made up of Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and Hillary Clinton was perhaps the most disastrous foreign policy crew in American history. She’s got no room to talk."

It will prove just as difficult for Trump to extricate our country from the firestorm started by those dumbasses as it did for Obama.


The use of the word "extricate" in conjunction with Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, and Hillary Clinton doesn't make any sense. I think the phrase you're looking for is "further disastrously entangle" or maybe "FUBAR". No dispassionate observer would look at that troika and conclude that any competent executive responsible for appointing them had fixing things as a goal. Unless the goal was to "fix it good". In which case, he succeeded.

Sebastian said...

"Give me a freaking break, perhaps some specialties require extensive knowledge of national security challenges." Which is why the MSM and lefties everywhere, concerned as they are with out national security, bitched 24/7 about the woeful lack of specialized "extensive knowledge" on the part of any of O's main advisers. I still recall the howls of outrage, the intense questioning of the Press Secretary, the continual Op-Eds, complaining about a nation in peril due to the amateurs in charge.

Drago said...

Michael K: "The only disastrous policy of the Bush White House was putting Bremer in charge of the post-invasion government. Bush was far too trusting of the State Department, which Trump will do a thorough cleansing of."

At the risk of sounding a bit too ARM-ish, the reality is the US has zero capability for nation building in the modern era.

In the immediate Post WWII aftermath we had absolute military supremacy, a force spread out across the globe and we were establishing democrat states amongst more advanced nations (Germany, Italy, Japan, etc) that had educational and philosophical traditions that were amenable.

Just think about the skillsets and capabilities we (the US/West) would have to possess as well as the ability to deploy comprehensively to justify a leap into the middle east and attempt to establish from the ground up a democracy with all the requisite security and human rights institutions that are necessary for such a venture to succeed.

To lay blame on Bremer, 1 guy with a budget, completely misses the forest for the trees.

We lack all the required foundational elements required to "force" a democracy in that part of the world.

I must admit that this is a position I have evolved to over several decades.

I am in no way saying we should not be engaged sufficiently to secure our national interests and to block our international competitors. But that is a very different proposition from nation building.

Drago said...

In Freders defense, he probably did win the 4 person round robin "Stratego" tournament in 4th grade.

Karen said...

The comments blog at Althouse is my favorite spot on the Internet.

AReasonableMan said...

Seeing Red said...
We might think they're pointless. Unfortunately, they don't.


Not surprising, given that it is their country that is being destroyed.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
At the risk of sounding a bit too ARM-ish


No risk involved. You can never be too ARM-ish.

Jason said...

Listening to Democrats talk about National Security reminds me of that scene in Braveheart where that clueless, mincing little shit who claims to be 'skilled in the arts of war and military tactics' gets thrown out the window.

Freder is absolutely perfect for the role.

buwaya said...

Guys,

It doesn't matter what gets stuffed into the megaphone.
Not at all. Details are irrelevant. There is no actual argument anywhere in this.
Its all about the megaphone, and that it is loud.
The medium is the message.
The message is singular and consistent, which is "Down with Trump".

OGWiseman said...

I've got my beefs with Obama, but the idea that his national security record is terrible is, in a word, laughable. No major terrorist attacks on US soil and he found and killed Osama Bin Laden. If a Republican had that record, Reynolds and Bay would be out chipping away at Mount Rushmore so there'd be space to add his mug.

YoungHegelian said...

OGWiseman,

No major terrorist attacks on US soil

Major attacks! Major!

You gotta be kidding us to come here & spout that bullshit. Let's see, off the top of my head:

Orlando nightclub shootings
San Bernadino shootings
Boston marathon bombing
Major Nidal Hasan going bonkers

I'm sure I've missed some. But, what sort of talking point is it to say "well, those aren't major..."

They'd be major if one of your family ended up dead from them!

Bad Lieutenant said...

YH,

"Tragedy is when I hurt my finger. Comedy is when you fall down a manhole and die."

OG is funny.

Alex said...

At this point Trump is toxic. He'll be lucky to not be impeached within 100 days. It's over folks. The Dems won.

Bad Lieutenant said...

C'mon Alex, you can relax now. We have Trumpit to be the conservative moby, we don't need two.

Michael K said...

At the risk of sounding a bit too ARM-ish, the reality is the US has zero capability for nation building in the modern era.

I don't really disagree. What I wanted Bush to do at the time was install an Iraqi general and leave.

Second choice was to put Jay Garner in charge to do what he did with the Kurds.

Michael Totten, who has gone crazy over Trump, was still pretty sane about Iraq a few years ago.

“Well,” he said and laughed. “They aren't as bad as they used to be. And besides, the kind of stuff that goes on here is like what happens in American cities now. It's not like the old Fallujah.”

Then Obama came along and pulled the rug out.

Read Emma Sky's book, "The Unraveling.

She began as anti-war and saw that things were getting better. Iraq was never going to be a democracy and maybe Iran always had the upper hand, but it is immeasurably worse now.

madAsHell said...

Does the cognitive dissonance bother the rest of you?

Do you believe in gravity? You know, it's just a theory.

Richard said...

Karen, I plum agree.

Freder Frederson said...

Listening to Democrats talk about National Security reminds me of that scene in Braveheart where that clueless, mincing little shit who claims to be 'skilled in the arts of war and military tactics' gets thrown out the window.

Freder is absolutely perfect for the role.


And wasn't just a couple days ago that you all were claiming no one on this blog had ever threatened me with violence?