Trump’s Pentagon Purge Continues
Nov. 28, 2020 (EIRNS)—Foreign Policy reported on Nov. 25 the purging of several long-time military-industrial complex figures from the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. This had not been announced publicly but FP’s source reports were confirmed by the Pentagon when asked. Those kicked off the board include former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright; former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead; Jane Harman, once the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee; and Rudy De Leon, a former chief operating officer at the Pentagon once considered by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis for a high-level policy role.
Also removed were former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and David McCormick, a former Treasury Department undersecretary during the George W. Bush Administration. Both had been added to the board by Mattis in 2017, reports FP. Jamie Gorelick, a Clinton Administration deputy attorney general; Robert Joseph, a chief U.S. nuclear negotiator who convinced Libya to give up weapons of mass destruction; former Bush Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch II; and Franklin Miller, a former top defense official, have also been ousted.
In a statement late Wednesday, the Department of Defense confirmed the decision. “As part of long-considered changes, we can confirm that several members of the Department’s Defense Policy Board have been removed,” a defense official told FP. “We are extremely grateful for their dedicated service, commitment, and contributions to our national security. Future announcements for new members of the board will be made soon.”
Unnamed officials also told FP that President Donald Trump had long been trying to remake the board with people closer to his own views, but had met resistance from Mark Esper and acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson, both of whom have since been fired. (The Defense Policy Board is part of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.) The White House had wanted to add Scott O’Grady, the former F-16 pilot shot down in Bosnia in 1995 and Newt Gingrich. The administration had vetoed the addition of former Special Operations Command chief Adm. Eric Olson, Condoleezza Rice and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.