Since his inauguration, the President has plowed through a secretary of state, a defense secretary and an attorney general. He's worked his way through an FBI chief, a director of national intelligence, a homeland security secretary, two White House chiefs of staff and five deputy national security advisers. He's seen an ambassador to the UN come and go, as well as a Mideast peace negotiator.
Enough senior-level national security experts and appointees have exited the Trump administration's State Department and National Security Council to field two baseball teams with players left over to warm the bench.
Many resigned under pressure. Some, like Brett McGurk, Trump's envoy to the global coalition against ISIS, left in protest.
The rapidly spinning revolving door left administration officials facing unusually frank questions Tuesday about the coherence and continuity of the administration's foreign policy.
"Is this national security team a mess?" CNN's Jim Acosta asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who held a news conference Tuesday to announce new counterterrorism designations with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"Absolutely not," Mnuchin protested. "That's the most ridiculous question I've ever heard of."
But in a moment that spoke volumes about dissent and hostility within Trump's national security team, both men, asked if they had been blindsided by Bolton's departure, grinned hugely before launching into their answers.
Trump ousted his national security adviser as the US faces a slew of challenges: tensions with Iran, North Korea's ongoing missile tests, China's assertiveness in Asian waters and Russia's ongoing aggression in Ukraine and Crimea, as well as its election interference in the US and across Europe. It comes just days after the President rescinded an offer to the Taliban to visit Camp David, leaving his path on Afghanistan unclear.
Bolton's departure also comes just two weeks before the UN General Assembly -- known as the Super Bowl of diplomacy -- leaving the President a man down before he and his senior national security team arrive to face off against adversaries and cajole allies. (His new ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, was scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday and won't be prepared to play a major role, sources say.)
The UN event could highlight divisions on issues like climate change and the Iran nuclear deal with longtime US partners, many of whom have experienced the unsettled nature of Trump's national security infrastructure in the form of ambassador vacancies.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Wednesday 11 September 2019 09:57