The Brief, March 2017


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March 13, 2017 
U.S. National Security Shakeup

U.S. President Donald Trump has appointed H.R. McMaster as national security adviser following the resignation of Michael Flynn over his contacts with Russia during the presidential campaign. Johns Hopkins SAIS experts discussed the growing scrutiny around the new administration's national security policies.

Associate Director of Strategic Studies and Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Thomas A. Keaney told Voice of America the position is "probably as important as the diplomacy coming out the State Department, the ambassadors, or the Defense Department." Watch more

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence John McLaughlin wrote in OZY that the "controversy is bound to inject another element of uncertainty" into the public understanding of America’s current foreign policy choices. Read more

In comparing Flynn’s brief tenure and downfall to his predecessors, European and Eurasian Studies Scholar-in-Residence James Mann told Slate that while Flynn had expertise in the Middle East and terrorism, he "had no particular experience in dealing with other parts of American foreign policy or national security." Read more

Foreign Policy Institute Nitze/Herter Distinguished Scholar Antony Blinken told CNN's Anderson Cooper 360° that McMaster is "one of the leading generals of his generation, both in the field, in the classroom" and "a thought leader when it comes to military and strategic matters." Read more

Director of Strategic Studies Eliot Cohen told the New York Times that McMaster "has to be very aware that he now represents integrity and a forthrightness about speaking truth to power." Read more

Trump reportedly interviewed four candidates following Flynn's resignation — all white males. In assessing the inclusion of women and diversity in the Trump administration after McMaster's appointment, Senior Advisor to the Dean Shamila N. Chaudhary told PRI's The World, that when considering how policies impact people differently, "having a good gender balance in the room leads to better decisions." Hear more

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives. Like The Brief? Share it on Facebook and Twitter, forward to a friend, or subscribe