President-elect Donald Trump’s authoritarian style and personality, which attracted an overwhelmingly authoritarian following, is manifesting itself in the selection of his national security team. The appointment of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as the national security adviser is particularly worrisome because of the general’s lack of experience in strategic policy and his controversial stewardship as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. More recently, we have learned that general officers are being given consideration as secretaries of state, defense, and homeland security. Trump is putting at risk the Constitution’s support for civilian control of the military as well as decision-making in the use of force as well as national security policy in general.
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CIA Creates a Mission Center to Counter China
You have to wonder what in the world Burns’ mediocre predecessors (John Brennan and Mike Pompeo) were thinking in creating mission centers regarding Iran and North Korea which represented little threat to the United States. But my second reaction is less facetious and more serious: why is the United States—its president, its politicians, its pundits—hell-bent on creating a Cold War environment and arms race with China? Burns told his work force last week that China is “our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry.”