On September 18th, US President Trump appointed the State Council hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien to replace John Bolton as a national security adviser. It can be said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has won. Because of Bolton’s departure, it was also the result of the power struggle with Pompeo. Nowadays, Trump’s promotion of the State Department’s position as the White House is enough to reflect the stability of Pompeo’s current discourse status. Prior to this, Bolton and Pompeo were the behind-the-scenes candidates who were expelled from Trump.
After expelling Bolton, Trump made the order, with Vice Presidents Mike Pence and Pompey recommending candidates. This is the best time for Pengs and Pompeo to take the opportunity to put their own people.
At first, after Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, was forced to resign, Burns recommended that his chief of staff, Nick Ayers, succeed Kelly, but Ayers himself declined the request. This time, Burns also recommended his national security adviser Keith Kellogg to replace Bolton as a national security consultant, but was not adopted by Trump.
O’Brien, who was recommended by Pompeo, was finally approved by Trump. There may be two main reasons: First, O’Brien is a “negotiation expert”, which is Trump’s most important trait. O’Brien used to mediate with the Syrian Assad regime to promote the release of an American tourist. Before serving as the State Department’s hostage negotiator in 2018, he served as the head of the Afghan judicial reform program at the State Department during George W. Bush and President Barack Obama; the second was O’Brien’s national security and foreign affairs. The qualifications of the field belong to the old monks in the Republican Party.
The establishment of the National Security Adviser position and the White House are related to the power struggle of the Congress. During the formation of the Ministry of National Defense, the White House made concessions to Congress, and Congress also allowed the White House to set up a National Security Adviser position, which was not subject to review by the Senate and was fully appointed by the President. Therefore, the power of the position depends on the trust and authorization of the president and the distribution of power within the National Security Council.
Since the position is closest to the president and is responsible for liaising and unblocking the cabinet members, many people who want to make a difference in national security and diplomacy want to take up the position. Many people have also taken this position as a springboard for the position of Secretary of State. For example, in the 1970s, Henry Kissinger secretly visited China as a national security adviser to contact the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, and then served as Secretary of State at the government of Gerald Rudolph Ford.
This has led to a number of overlaps between the Secretary of State and the National Security Adviser in many cases, so the power struggle between the two has occasionally occurred. When Richard Nixon secretly sent Kissinger to visit China, then Secretary of State William Pierce Rogers was kept in the dark and power was overhead.
O’Brien and Pompeo have always maintained a good relationship, and it can be said that O’Brien is a “replica” of Pompeo, a traditional conservative hawk. But this hawk did not reach Bolton’s belligerent level. O’Brien has been very low-key before he served as a consultant for the country, and pragmatically dealt with his affairs. His biggest challenge in the future is how to deal with Trump’s moodiness, policy reversal and confrontational thinking.
In an article in 2016, he emphasized that in the face of the world crisis, the United States should reinvigorate US leadership rather than reconcile everywhere like Obama. He once criticized the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran as a “appeasement policy.” O’Brien acknowledged Trump’s statement that the United States should not be a world policeman, but he also believes that the United States is a leader in the free world.
In any case, in the future, O’Brien’s national security conference and cross-departmental communication, Pompeo’s role will be highlighted. This is also an opportunity for Pompeo to take the opportunity to consolidate his position. However, Trump has experienced three years of inefficiency in the diplomatic and national security team, and the results are very limited, so he can expel Bolton, and naturally it is possible to expel Pompeo, unless Pompeo always keeps Trump. attitude. Therefore, Pompeo’s biggest task now is to be safe, decent, and smooth, rather than being violently and humiliatingly expelled by Trump, otherwise it will not be conducive to his future election to higher public office.