People are becoming concerned that the swamp will not be drained as Obama holdovers keep their positions or have them expanded in some cases and as Flynn appointees seem to be the ones who are drained.
To start, conservative firebrand Steve Bannon has been removed as a member of the Principal’s Committee of the National Security Council. Some GOP lawmakers have wanted him of the council, saying it reduced the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence to lesser roles. The members of the committee will now go back to their traditional roles.
Bannon keeps his security clearance however.
For his part, Bannon said he only attended one meeting and didn’t see the need to continue, but others are saying he was forced out by McMaster. On the other hand, a White House official said Bannon was there in part to keep a check on General Flynn and just isn’t needed.
Bannon will keep his position on the parallel structure, the Strategic Initiatives Group in the Eisenhower building in any case.
Bannon is the chief White House strategist and has been accused of appealing to white nationalists with the rhetoric on Breitbart when he was editor. Many in the establishment want him out.
Homeland Security advisor Thomas Bossert was also downgraded in his role. The CIA is back on the reconstituted NSC.
This was believed to have been orchestrated by Army Lt. Gen. McMaster. McMaster’s views on Islam are diametrically opposed to those of Stephen Bannon. Bannon has long warned that the Judeo-Christian West is in a civilizational conflict with Islam.
Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster is the opposite of General Flynn in many ways as well. Flynn saw Islam and the West engaged in a clash of civilizations, McMaster does not. His statements on Islam are politically correct and similar to Bush’s and Obama’s.
A senior White House official told NBC the White House was bringing back more of a George W. Bush-era-type NSC. The council will be more streamlined and the decision making more deliberative, the official said.
The delays in hiring and the foggy foreign policy resulting from unfilled posts are causing problems.
The groups deciding our foreign policy according to the Gatestone Institute include career staffers, political appointees, civilian strategists, politically correct and incorrect ideologues, New York moderates and populists, sympathizers of Palestine and those that side with Israel and they differ with new appointees on the nature of Islam, approaches to Iran, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the European Union, Russia, globalism and other national security issues.
Unfilled Trump cabinet positions has kept Obama appointees in place and allow them to continue engaging in the development of foreign policy. Trump has yet to nominate any officials below the cabinet level at the State Department or the Pentagon, which means there is no one to formulate Trump’s own foreign policy, much less implement it.
As one example of a problem in not hiring, the U.S. doesn’t have an ambassador to Egypt at the same time Russia is sending troops to Egypt where they will be in position to shape the chaos taking place in neighboring Libya.
Other problems: Russia is using chemical weapons on Syrians; North Korea is sending ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan; Iran is testing ballistic missiles and harassing U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf without us blowing them out of the water as promised. China is arming their fake islands in the South China Sea with nuclear weapons while claiming they are real islands.
The Trump team has selected Brett McGurk as special envoy to lead the campaign against ISIS. Brett McGurk served as the Obama administration’s special envoy to lead the campaign against ISIS. The reason the policy did so poorly is because Sunnis refused to engage when the spoils were going to Shias in Iran. That was his policy.
McGurk was the point man on the pro-Iran policy and he arranged for Iran to get $400 million in cash delivered on wooden pallets to the IRGC in exchange for American hostages.
Trump promised to make public the secret documents regarding the Iran nuclear deal. McGurk signed some of those and the documents have not been made public yet.
The Obama State Department’s special envoy to Syria, Michael Ratney, threatened the Syrian rebels on behalf of Vladimir Putin, over the phony cessation of hostilities agreement. They were told to agree or else. His role has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine.
The State Department’s Tom Shannon was trying to give Iran access to the dollar. He’s still there.
Chris Backemeyer, the State Department’s principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, is still in place. His job under Obama was to persuade companies around the world to invest in Iran, even though they thought it was a terrible idea. He is the Iran pitchman inside the State Department.
Trump has allowed the greatly weakened Democrats and their deep state – a group of political operatives waging war like they always do – to become powerful.
There are other concerns regarding appointments.
K.T. McFarland, who was appointed by General Flynn, was offered the post of U.S. ambassador to Singapore. She looks to be on her way
McMaster has tried to replace a number of appointees including Flynn protégé, Ezra Watnick-Cohen, the NSC’s senior director for intelligence programs. Politico reported that Cohen-Watnick and Flynn “saw eye to eye about the failings of the CIA human intelligence operations,” according to an operative. “The CIA saw him as a threat, so they tried to unseat him and replace him with an agency loyalist,” he said.
McMaster wanted to replace him with Linda Weissgold who helped draw up the deceitful Benghazi talking points.
Dina Habib Powell, 43, a former executive with Goldman Sachs, is the first Arab-American to join the Trump White House. According to Politico, Powell has a strong personal relationship with Valerie Jarrett, one of the closest advisors to Barack Obama. Jarrett, who was born in Iran, and is widely rumored to be the architect of the Iran Nuclear Deal, reportedly has moved into Obama’s home in Washington, D.C. to lead a resistance movement against Trump’s efforts to reverse his predecessor’s foreign and domestic policies. She is tied to Ivanka Trump.
Yael Lempert will be retained though a controversial Obama staffer. He “is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left.”
Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who served as the NSC’s Iran director during the Obama administration, is now in charge of policy planning for Iran and the Persian Gulf at the Trump State Department. Nowrouzzadeh, whose main task at Obama’s NSC was to help broker the Iran Nuclear Deal, is a former employee of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a lobbying group widely believed to be a front group for the Islamic dictatorship in Iran. They were big Hillary Clinton donors.
There are other picks that make the shaping of foreign policy confusing.
“The people who are handling key elements of those conflicts now are the same people who handled those areas under Obama, despite the results of the last election. No wonder the results look equally awful.” — Lee Smith, Middle East analyst.
Trump has the opportunity to fill as many as 4,000 leadership and policymaking positions across the federal government, but he won’t fill many of them as he sees them unnecessary, but what does that leave us with? When Obama was taking over the judiciary with far-left appointees, he filled non-existent positions.