There is a major story that has managed to slip through the cracks over the past week or so. Because of the flurry of lawsuits regarding Muslim Immigrants/Refugees stranded at airports, rioting at those same airports, SCOTUS appointments, more lawsuits, and the President taunting and thumbing his nose at Iran; Steve Bannon once again slid through the flurry of headlines.
Whether by design or sheer luck, Mr. Bannon’s possible appointment managed to stay out of the headlines and for a good reason would be my guess.
In an article in the New York Times by David Sanger, President Trump apparently wants to totally overhaul the National Security Council by appointing Steve Bannon (the President’s Chief Strategist) to elevate Mr. Bannon while downgrading the roles of Director and the Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff.
A few days after that article appeared in the Times, an Op-Ed was penned by Admiral Michael Mullen (who was also on the NSC) giving his concerns for Bannon in such an important role on the National Security Council. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has tried to defend Mr. Trump’s decision by repeatedly stating that Mr. Bannon was a former Naval Officer and this is what qualifies him for a position with the Council.
You read Crows Nest for some news, but you also read Crows Nest because you are interested in my opinion. Here is my unvarnished opinion on this topic.
Steve Bannon needs to sit on the National Security Council about as much as I need to bear hunting with a fly-swatter. This is a Council where very high-ranking military officials and Diplomats discuss in an atmosphere that is supposed to remain neutral and non-partisan. By having Bannon sitting in on these meetings, these military experts and foreign policy statesman will feel as though they have to give the President what he wants rather than what is best for the nation.
As for Bannon having been a Naval Officer, Steve Bannon spent more time behind a camera than he ever did in uniform. Bannon was a low-level officer, not a “Flag-Officer” (IE; General, Admiral, etc.). In fact, if memory serves me correctly, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant maybe a Lt. Commander (Army, this is a Major). Neither of which is “Flag-Officer” status.
I have to candid here. Some of President Trump’s choices for some of these critical roles is beginning to concern me a bit. He has been President for only a couple of weeks, and he has already managed to hack off several foreign leaders (Mexico, Australia, North Korea, Iran, the British Parliment, and several more). He is all but peeing in China’s Wheaties by sighting a conflict over their building of a military installation in the South China Sea. O.K., I get it, tough-talking makes the conservative base happy, but sometimes it is better to dangle a carrot than a hand grenade.
Allow me to paint you a scenario (which is very plausible and not out of the reach of becoming a reality). Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to China and carries President Trump’s tough-talking rhetoric with him. China simply nods their heads and acts as if they agree with him. Remember now, Tillerson has zero diplomatic experience, but yet he is our Secretary of State. Tillerson leaves China, Bejing picks up the phone and calls Kim (Jung-Un, BABY DOC Trouble-Maker) whatever his name is, and tells them to invade South Korea. Now, what do we do?
In a matter of minutes, we have 25,000 dead troops on the border of the two Korea’s, and Seoul just got a low-level nuke dropped on its head, and 200,000 citizens are dead.
Remember, Baby Kim does whatever big brother in Bejing tells him to do. It is not out of the realm of possibility that he would very well be willing to do what I just described.
The point I am making is this. President Trump had better bring in some folks with some far-reaching diplomatic experience. It is okay to tough talk at times, but not all the time. These foreign leaders have pride, just as we do. You cannot stand back and fire darts at nations by calling them stupid. You cannot always talk tough and expect to keep bullying your way around the China shop (no pun intended). Sooner or later something is going to fall and break, and you had better be ready to pick up the pieces. In this case, we are dealing with very prideful China who has an Army which can whip our butts with one arm tied behind his back. China has one of the top fighter jets in the world, and they outnumber us by 300-1 at least concerning troop strength.
You say, “well, we build a coalition.” Tell me “who” in their right mind wants to fight China? Nobody is the answer.
While I love most of President Trump’s appointments such as Jeff Sessions, General Mattis and more, I do have to say; I really wish he would put some thought into bringing in a few Diplomatic Statesmen to key positions involving foreign affairs and even some military affairs.
In the end, I have to say that as much as I like Steve Bannon personally (yes, I have met him several times), I do disagree with this selection for a litany of reasons (a few of them are above). Lastly; This was strictly my opinion, and I might, in fact, be way off base with my thoughts on this subject. I actually hope I am.