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29 January 2017


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As others have remarked the language in the Trump NSC memo is similar to the language in previous NSC memos. Nothing changed. The whole outrage about this is manufactured and fake.

Aside from that - I would find it quite appropriate if the military and intelligence complex had a somewhat less say in this administration. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case yet. The military side is still overweight compared to State and other actors.

The Pentagon and the CIA tend to make an even bigger mess of the world when they are too much in charge. They should execute, not make policy.

Patrick Bahzad

A few thoughts on the issue:
1. DNI and CJCS "demoted" from regular members to occasional attendees, which might imply Flynn is supposed to take over both as advisor for military and intel matters. Sounds like a lot to ask for.
2. Homeland Security Advisor (Bossert) is added as regular member and may serve as point man for domestic intel matters. Both Flynn and Bossert are clearly considered a filter between military/intel rank and file on one hand, and POTUS on the other.
3. overall, and especially with the rise to prominence of political advisors (with no relevant prior experience), the balance within the NSC doesn't seem right and could have serious consequences when members have to take tough or complicated decisions. Particularly missing the cool heads with enough "seen it, done that" experience to prevent things from going off the tracks.

Richard Armstrong

It is disturbing to hear anyone say that they believe "Bannon has American interests at heart".

Mr. Bannon said this in late 2013...

“I’m a Leninist,” Steve Bannon told a writer for The Daily Beast, in late 2013. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

So now we have a self-described Leninist who wants to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today's establishment on the Principles Committee of the NSC.

A Leninist.
On the PC of the NSC.

Well, if your desire is to bring everything crashing down then that's a pretty good table to have a seat at.

Nancy K

Brannon has his own agenda and Trump can be easily led because he is in way over his head. He doesn't seem to have a clue what he is doing other than to create chaos, which might just be their plan.


Given the 'episodic' nature of mistakes made by each Prez NS/mil team, I doubt it would be any different from any 4 year term of a random prez since the 70s. There's always some new farce (RTProtect), some new enemy to create or to destroy with actions meant for something else.

Picking on these selected men is pointless; they'd go after ISIS but may end up supporting KSA in yemen fight. then what?

Bill Herschel

He's a mess.

"Bannon's first marriage was to Cathleen Suzanne Houff, born 1955.[87] Bannon and Houff had a daughter, Maureen, in 1988.[88][89] They divorced.[57]

Bannon's second marriage was to Mary Louise Piccard, a former investment banker, in April 1995. Their twin daughters were born three days after the wedding. Piccard filed for dissolution of the marriage in 1997, and they are no longer married.[90][91]

Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996, after Piccard accused Bannon of domestic abuse. The charges were later dropped when his now ex-wife did not appear in court.[92] In an article in The New York Times, Piccard stated her absence was due to threats made to her by Bannon and Bannon's lawyer:

Mr. Bannon, she said, told her that "if I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty"... Mr. Bannon’s lawyer, she said, "threatened me," telling her that if Mr. Bannon went to jail, she "would have no money and no way to support the children." ... Mr. Bannon’s lawyer ... denied pressuring her not to testify.[93]

Piccard and Bannon divorced in 1997. During the divorce proceedings, Piccard also stated that Bannon had made antisemitic remarks about choice of schools, saying that he did not want to send his children to The Archer School for Girls because there were too many Jews at the school and Jews raise their children to be "whiny brats". Bannon's spokesperson denied the accusation, noting that he had chosen to send both his children to the Archer School.[92][94][95][96][97]

Bannon's third marriage was to Diane Clohesy. That marriage also ended in divorce, in 2009.[98]"

You really have to ask yourself, "Does this guy do drugs?" The two milieu he's been in, entertainment and high finance, are riddled with drugs. His behavior is out of control.

World War III will start by something "little". Some impulsive act that grows and grows. Like every day of this guy's life.



This is actually a power play by Flynn to increase his own leverage at the Principals level. It has nothing to do with "balance" of interests in the government. pl



Mattis is not Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford is CJCS and so far as I know is the one who lost his seat. pl



The Principals Committee is the level of the Interagency at which the president/Commander in Chief meets personally with his principal advisers on national security. pl


If the Wiki bio of Bannon is remotely accurate, you serious underestimate the "Kitchen Cabinet".

Nancy K

Clinton may not have been "good" but she did have qualified and diverse advisors not just advisers who have to explain what she was saying because she was incapable of completing a complete or coherent thought.


Tom V

In what way? As a military man I like structure in the NSC, something like the way Eisenhower ran the place. The mental image of Flynn and Bannon sitting around with the boss talking about "the real stuff" is scary especially considering the weakness of many in Flynn's entourage. pl


So Flynn intends to be the President in waiting. Hmmm....an un-elected President.


From what I have read, it is all the Senior executives of the member organizations of the NSC. Their function is making decisions on plans and operations (national policy level). The real work is done at much lower organizational levels. By the time it gets to the PC, consensus should be a "done deal". Most of the time the PC just rubber stamps what has been worked out at lower levels.



I'll quote Tyler here:

    Do not make the mistake of assuming Trump won’t do what he says he’s done so you can sleep easier, forming opinions on a mirage you create in the space of your mind. Instead, my friends on the Left, worry that he will not only do what he said he would, but he’ll go above and beyond, and the people will love him for it.

Pres. Trump is doing the same things as President that got him elected. He is pushing the boundaries to see what he can get away with. The inclusion of green cards in the executive order was not accident; it was a deliberate testing of the federal government to see the response. Look for other testing of boundaries. The walk back on the green cards is not a victory for the left because nothing was said about the discretionary power the Pres. Trump has given the DHS. "If you're traveling back and forth you're going to be subjected to further screening." --- Chief of Staff Priebus

Nothing was said about the 'Special Immigration Visas' for our interpreters.

Mr. Bannon is a very astute player in the use and application of power. We are now seeing it in action.

Edward Amame

Maybe the fumbling is intentional. The Trump model looks like first comes chaos and destruction, then the rebuild and rebrand. I don't know financial celebrity John Maudlin from Adam, but the guy claims to have seen this from Team Trump: "the plan for one cabinet-level department...appeared to be about 100 pages plus of serious detail as to exactly what executive orders would need to be removed and added, what personnel would have to be replaced (both appointees and regular staff), what policies would need to be changed, and so forth..." And that he heard, "...this level of planning was being done for every department." That kind of planning doesn't happen overnight (...if true). During the primary, Trump said he got his SCOTUS candidates from the Heritage Foundation. Googling "Trump Transition Heritage Foundation" reveals this from Politico: "The Heritage Foundation has emerged as a driving force as Trump tries to staff up the federal government."

My guess is that the blueprint for Trump's rebuild is coming straight from Jim DeMint's Heritage Foundation.







Is that not what I said? pl


I agree it looks like cronyism, but given that the "professionals" at Langley and NSA contributed to the insanely stupid "Assad must go!" policy, funneled arms to Jihadis and in general screwed the pooch quite thoroughly, is it not a good thing to have the neo-cons further removed from power?

Trump seems to be like a bull in a China shop. Lots of fine plates are getting broken, but perhaps that needs to happen.



Few of the professionals are neocons. A lot of them are boot lickers by necessity but neocons? No. pl



Schumer's crying stunt on TV was a it much but Trump's uber-macho reference to it was really worrisome. I have seen a lot of brave men cry. I cry if sufficiently provoked. pl



The PC is made up of the actual heads of the cabinet departments and selected agencies. pl


I certainly have no crystal ball and perhaps you are correct, but at the same time it brings to mind the description of "eleventy dimensional chess" that was used as an excuse for Obama.

Edward Amame

Col Lang

I worry that the airport pandemonium, the protests with all the liberals and foreign-looking people, and Schumer's tearful response are exactly what Bannon wanted. Trump's tough guy comment too. The game plan seems to be about confrontation and further inflaming partisans.


My thoughts on this are similar. If the current groupthink of the faction of the Borg that's been in power for at least the last 16 years is the problem, then the only way to make a change is to shake things up. If indeed the Realist faction is going to make a comeback into power, then Trump would have to have many 'secret supporters' within that faction of the Borg. At this point I surmise that he does have that support behind the scenes, that we are not hearing about from the MSM. That's a good thing, IMO.

It appears the civil war that's been discussed here is actually already going on within the Borg. The various bureaucratic establishments in the Borg ecosystem will fight tooth and nail to protect their bloated budgets, perks, and missions. They are using the MSM as their weapon of choice. This is why Bannon is quite correct that the media is the opposition. However, if there is enough secret support for Trump's new missions behind the scenes, then Trump will succeed to whatever extent he can.

Although this Frederick Douglas quote was about a totally different political issue, it is still apt in this case.

“If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
-- Frederick Douglass

One of my favorite quotes...

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
--George Bernard Shaw

I find Bannon a fascinating figure. It remains to see if he can successfully apply Machiavellian methods to both redirect Pax Americana to more successful ends AND benefit the American people.


I believe the Heritage Foundation did the hiring/vetting of appointees in the Bush II administration also.

What an expensive mess those 8 years were.

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