Trump Admin removes 11 established Defense Dept. advisers

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Joshua Whitehouse, the White House liaison to the Pentagon, orders the removal of 11 high-profile advisers from the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board.

The members include Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, Gary Roughead, Jane Harman, Rudy De Leon, Eric Cantor, David McCormick, Jamie Gorelick, Robert Joseph, J.D. Crouch II, and Franklin Miller.

The board, overseen by the Pentagon’s top policy official, the undersecretary of defense for policy, serves as a kind of in-house think tank on retainer for top military leaders, providing independent counsel and advice on defense policy. The Defense Policy Board includes former top military brass, secretaries of state, members of Congress, and other senior diplomats and foreign-policy experts. The status of two other members of the panel—or who would replace the ousted members—was not immediately clear.

Officials said that the Trump administration had long tried to remake the board with figures seen as loyal to the president—and outside of the Washington establishment—but had received pushback from recently ousted Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson, who sought to keep the board in place to allow for policy continuity. Both Esper and Anderson were removed earlier this month in a purge of Pentagon officials.

Foreign Policy


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