Trump’s diplomatic, national-security teams an amateurish mess

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(AP)

Donald Trump’s efforts to put together a foreign-policy and national security team are going about as well as expected. In other words, they’ve been a disaster.

Earlier today, former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, one of the calmer conservative foreign-policy voices in Washington, was forced to resign from the Trump transition team as part of a “Stalinesque” purging of anyone considered plausibly disloyal to Trump. The problem is, that standard eliminates not just Rogers but 95 percent of the GOP foreign-policy establishment.

Eliot Cohen, another prominent foreign-policy expert, had earlier urged his fellow conservatives to set aside those doubts about Trump’s foreign policy and consider serving in his administration, arguing that patriotic duty to our country required it and that “Trump may be better than we think.”

This morning, Cohen emphatically withdrew that recommendation:

“They think of these jobs as lollipops,” Cohen told the New York Times. “I think we’re on the verge of a crisis here.”

At the Pentagon and State Department, offices set aside for transition staff that ought to be humming right now instead sit empty because the Trump campaign hasn’t found people to fill them.  And while Trump as a candidate would often express deep skepticism about military intervention in one moment and in the next spew angry outbursts promising vengeance against American enemies, the second-or third-rate team that he appears to be assembling is highly militaristic, with a distinctly conspiratorial outlook.

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, a top campaign adviser for Trump, is a fan of Vladimir Putin and believes that Muslims want to establish Sharia law here in the United States. He is being mentioned for national security adviser

Clare Lopez, an official at the loony, anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the top levels of American government and must be ferreted out and purged. “Brotherhood affiliates and associates and those connected to it are the go-to advisers, if not appointees, for the top levels of national security in our government, in this administration for sure, but going back many decades,” she says.

She’s being seriously considered as deputy national security adviser.

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, one of the more ardent advocates of military adventurism in general and our invasion of Iraq in particular, is vying with Rudy Giuliani for the coveted post of secretary of state. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is threatening to launch a filibuster against Bolton’s nomination, but if the alternative is Giuliani, I’m not sure what the point would be.

James Woolsey, another champion of our Iraq invasion, has long peddled the notion that Saddam Hussein was behind the attacks of Sept. 11. He believes the same about the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh. He also believes that Muslims are secretly trying to impose Sharia law on the United States.

He’s on the list as potential CIA director.

In Europe, alarmed U.S. allies issued a statement Monday reiterating their strong support for the Iran nuclear agreement that Trump rejects as stupid and “an embarrassment to our country.” As our allies noted, Iran shows every sign of living up to its end of the agreement, according to monitors at the International Atomic Energy Agency. If the United States does try to pull out of the agreement, those allies warn, they will refuse to abide by any sanctions against Iran that we try to impose.

And oh yeah, yesterday must have been a big day for Trump. After all this time, he finally got the chance to speak by phone with Vladimir Putin. We don’t know what was said, of course. We do know that a few hours later, the Russians launched a major new bombing attack in Syria.

Finally, President Obama is in Europe on a final visit as president, where he’s counseling patience and trying to reassure other leaders that NATO and other trans-Atlantic institutions will be strong enough to survive Trump’s tenure. But you do have to wonder how sincerely Obama can make that argument, and how much credibility it will have with his shocked listeners.

Reader Comments 0

2634 comments
Lisa McGalliard
Lisa McGalliard

Trump knows how to surround himself with good people. He has proven this in his life time and time again. You must be thinking Obama. Now he is incapable of not only surrounding himself with good people, but also not being able to appoint intelligent people into positions of authority.

Doug McFarland
Doug McFarland

Coming from the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, that doesn't mean anything. You all are so far left you belong in China.

Daniel Gomez
Daniel Gomez

OH BOY, ONE COLUMNIST THAT DOESN'T KNOW THEIR RECTUM FROM A HOLE IN THE GROUND!!

Lynn Garrett
Lynn Garrett

A columnist? What the hell would he know? Just another butt hurt liberal!

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

Only the ones that are not qualified to do their job like Jay Bookman. sore loser after being a loser for so long'

Grace Nelson
Grace Nelson

As a Republican, even I know you need to surround yourself with intelligent people when you are not knowledgeable in a particular area.......hope this is not true...

Chris Webb
Chris Webb

Bookman is a liberal douchbag!!!

Barb Taylor Szymanski
Barb Taylor Szymanski

Where was this columnist when Obama was destroying our country. If he said nothing then, that proves he has no idea what he is talking about. Put your head back in the sand. Idiot

Jimmyanddiana Powers
Jimmyanddiana Powers

That is his privelage, Obama surrounded himself with what he thought he wanted, now look at it.

Michael Clark
Michael Clark

But he's replacing people who won't do there jobs.

Shug Stripling
Shug Stripling

Building a business and running a country is like apples and oranges no comparison

Junelle Lewis
Junelle Lewis

people need to stop trying to second guess trump on everything.. he built a great business and was elected president without any of you making his decisions for him..

Shug Stripling
Shug Stripling

Anyone that's not blinded by hatred of the OBAMA'S knows this person is out of his league to run this country children act more mature than he do !

Lynda Long Becker
Lynda Long Becker

For God's sake give the man a chance! No one so far knows who he is picking, it is all speculation!

Polly Putman
Polly Putman

So, we have had a president for 8 years that wasn't. We will be picking his dirty laundry for years to come. Give Trump a chance.

Joyce Emerick
Joyce Emerick

Lol! He hasn't announced much so you really have no idea who he will announce to stand with him! I'm glad there is so much speculation on this topic!!!!

Shug Stripling
Shug Stripling

That makes sense because he's not qualified to do his job,!!!

Jon Shore
Jon Shore

Stop this crap and report on something nice!!! Get a life AJC!

Bill Stockstill
Bill Stockstill

Naw, since he isn't suited for his job it's no surprise.

Valerie Hall Turner
Valerie Hall Turner

Why on earth would any thinking person believe the crap that the lamestream press excretes?

Felix Simmons Jr.
Felix Simmons Jr.

In line with his own lack of qualifications one isn't surprised

Carol Lasky
Carol Lasky

What do you expect from a liberal, biased media?

Linda Tilley
Linda Tilley

Maybe they would like muslin ..Rep Ellison better

Sheila Dean
Sheila Dean

And ur saying obamas muslims in his crew did most arent legal camt speak english

Jimmie Lynn
Jimmie Lynn

They're the only people he can get. The dregs. Bottom feeders.

Nancy Hattaway Harrell Johnson
Nancy Hattaway Harrell Johnson

Really? I think the dems are more along the lines of the bottom feeders. The republicans at least think you should work if you can and not live off other people. The dems want to keep everyone beholden to them so they will vote for them over and over. Hate to break it to you but someone has to pay and it's those of us who actually work and we are sick of paying for everyone else!

Ron Seibert
Ron Seibert

Another crybaby, get over it Trump won.

Sharon K Twilley
Sharon K Twilley

And odumbo was? I mean really!!! They all have to learn just as we all do when we start a new job. Doesn't make us wrong or bad because we need time to learn!!!!

Bob Killian
Bob Killian

Before our election they polled people in Russia asking thevquestion, "who would you like to see become the next president of the United States?" A large majority answered "Trump!" Now why do you think Russian citizens want Trump to be our president?

Joe Cooke
Joe Cooke

Better qualified than when Jimmy Carter loaded up the truck, and moved to D. C. with all his buddies... Remember that?

Kent Spencer
Kent Spencer

I feel scandals and indictments coming before 2019.

Evelyn Barker
Evelyn Barker

They need to follow hillary, maybe she will bounce somthing off their head.lol lol

Evelyn Barker
Evelyn Barker

Media opinions doesn't MATTER. Do you hear us now.

Linda Millerschone
Linda Millerschone

Look who's talking about not being qualified to do their job. We just had months of listening to media reporters who were so biased it made you sick

Ina Friday
Ina Friday

I just get so tired of these negative people

Jane Cook Fairall
Jane Cook Fairall

The Atlanta Journal and Constipation strikes again. Newspapers are obsolete.