Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”

President-elect Donald Trump probably never read Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey’s “Seven Days in May” in 1962 and never saw John Frankenheimer’s film version in 1964, which dealt with the threat of a military coup due to opposition to a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  President John F. Kennedy read the book after the Cuban missile crisis and found the scenario credible, probably because of the opposition and bizarre antics of Air Force Chief of Staff, General Curtis LeMay, during the crisis.  Perhaps Donald Trump should become familiar with the book or the movie before he names one more retired general to his national security team.

 

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Meet Our New “Secretary Of State”…Nancy Pelosi

In any event, Pelosi’s travel to the world’s worst trouble spots creates significant confusion regarding official U.S. policies and politics.  In flexing the flabby diplomatic muscles of the U.S. Congress, Pelosi is engaging the international community without any obvious coordination with the White House or the Department of State. The notion that anyone from the House of Representatives could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy or diplomacy is particularly ludicrous.  Unfortunately, her trips seemingly amount to a last hurrah.

The Dangerous Civilian-Military Chasm In America

One of the greatest weaknesses of presidential leadership over the past 60 years has been the lack of presidential experience in the military and the inability to control the military.  Several weeks before his seminal Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the White House, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.”  His successors have been deferential to the military and too many of them have used military force to bolster their credentials.  This has been a major factor in the expanded power of the military establishment.

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State