National Security Advisor nominee Mike Flynn (pending confirmation) gently rebuked the Obama administration at an event celebrating the peaceful transition of power hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace Tuesday.
Flynn appeared on stage with former Bush administration National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and current National Security Advisor — as well as former ambassador of Beghazi fame — Susan Rice. Both Flynn and Rice gave largely conciliatory remarks praising each other for help in the transition process, with Rice warmly wishing Flynn the best of luck.
President-elect Donald Trump will purportedly pursue “peace through strength” in the world, Flynn declared, adding that “whether we like it or not the world needs us, in fact it demands it,” and that the Trump administration would rely heavily on U.S. allies to carry out its agenda while in office. Trump has come under fire from some critics for seemingly saying he would renege on American NATO commitments, and his cheering of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.
Flynn similarly addressed public concerns that he would cut the size of the National Security Council staff, which critics say ballooned in size since 9/11. The size of the staff now numbers nearly 400 people, a four-fold increase from the Clinton administration.Trump’s transition team confirmed shortly after the election that their commitment to paring down the NSC staff is solid and intended to increase efficiency in national security decision making. Flynn did not comment on what types of cuts he plans to pursue, but said the NSC will continue to serve as the “fulcrum of national security decision making.”
Flynn closed his remarks saying that the new NSC will serve four functions for Trump: advising the president, helping the president formulate policy, monitoring how that policy is carried out by the relevant agencies, and ensuring that the president is properly prepared in times of crisis.
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