Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth commence.
Donald Trump finally put his October announced plan to cut the National Security Council dramatically into full action today. RedState reported on the likelihood of this earlier this morning. This comes on the heels of the high profile departures of the Vindman brothers, one of which played a key role in undermining Trump’s Ukrainian foreign policy and then placed himself at the center of the now failed impeachment effort.
Reports are coming in that 70 positions have been cut at the NSC, and when compounded with past departures, it’s been nearly cut in half now.
Officials confirmed that Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, who had fattened the staff to 200.
Many were loaners from other agencies and have been sent back. Others left government work.
Obama had turned the NSC into a bloated, ineffective body. That was seemingly shown in the former President’s inability to make tough decisions at time (i.e. not enforcing the Syria red line). The more people on the NSC, the more competing interests and back stabbing you will get. That was clearly illustrated the last five months during the impeachment push, most of which originated from the NSC. The council has also responsible for a lot of undermining leaks over the last three years that targeted the administration’s priorities.
You simply can not function as an administration without having the buy in of those closest to the President. It’s not about blind “loyalty,” as certain conservative contrarians constantly want to posit. It’s about have a team that understands the goal and will work toward that. The idea that Vindman or any of these other Obama holdovers, many of which were just taking up space, should stick around never made any sense.
O’Brien points out that George W. Bush managed to run the peak of two wars with only 100 NSC members. There’s simply no reason Obama needed to add so many positions and there’s certainly no reason for Trump to keep them.
While this will be spun as retribution by Democrats and media members running to their fainting couches, this plan as been in the works for a while. It’s long overdue.