Michael Flynn: Trump is Like the Chariot Driver in ‘Ben-Hur’ by David Ignatius, Washington Post
Of the many puzzles posed by President Trump’s administration, the role of the National Security Council is among the trickiest. The NSC usually tries to act as an “honest broker” among Cabinet agencies. But how will it function under a headstrong president who sees his role as disruptor and tweeter-in-chief?
This challenge falls to national security adviser Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general who holds a position once filled by such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft. His NSC got off to a controversial start with a directive installing chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon on the principals committee and initially reported as reducing the role of the military and intelligence chiefs.
The NSC membership list upset critics, but its practical effect will probably be limited. If Bannon is going to play a big (and disruptive) role in national security, maybe it’s better for him to operate within the NSC structure than to go directly to the president. And in an administration where two top Cabinet positions are held by retired four-star generals, the military won’t lack for influence.
The larger issue is stability and coherence of policy. Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser for President George W. Bush, explains: “Trump is an insurgent president leading a populist movement. He came in with an agenda that was disruptive and destructive - throw over the money changers’ tables. The next six months will see destruction, some of it creative and some just destructive…