Franklin Miller and Keith Payne write: Effective deterrence is the product of the necessary capabilities and manifest political will. Our national safety depends on being able to communicate these to the world, especially to the Kremlin. A good start would be for the Trump administration to work with Congress to repeal the application of the Budgetary Control Act to the Defense Department, thus ending the budget-cutting demands on defense of sequestration—and to direct the Pentagon to move U.S. strategic nuclear-force modernization plans forward without delay. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
Improving health and health care
Joseph Antos, James C. Capretta, Lanhee Chen, Scott Gottlieb, Yuval Levin, Thomas P. Miller, Ramesh Ponnuru, Avik Roy, Gail Wilensky, and David Wilson | AEIIn this comprehensive report, 10 health experts come together to put forward a plan to reform health care in the United States.
Frank Vernuccio Editor in Chief New York Analysis of Policy & Government
Policy Transition for "The Long War" John Hudson and Colum Lynch have a solid run-down of the rumored NatSec picks, writing, “individuals familiar with the Trump campaign’s thinking tell Foreign Policy the real estate tycoon’s cabinet is likely to include a mix of outside-the-box iconoclasts and establishment Republican allies, including even Bush-era foreign policy hawks.”
GOP House Membership Transition Team for Defense Dept., Among Washington-based defense experts, early Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is the front-runner to be nominated as the next Secretary of Defense. Also in the rumint mix is Stephen Hadley, who served as national security advisor to President George W. Bush, and former Sen. Jim Talent, (R-Mo.). Sessions has led Trump’s national security advisory committee since March, and sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Other names that are being bandied about for top national security positions at the White House and in the Pentagon include a host of conservative politicians like former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and onetime CIA chief James Woolsey. Rogers currently heads Trump’s National Security transition team, according to an org chart obtained by Politico. The AP also has more on the transition struggles here.
The Military Times’ Andrew Tilghman reports that military officials and civilian defense watchers aren’t sure whether the Trump administration would walk back some of the Obama White House’s famous micromanagement of the Pentagon, or if things could get even worse.
Intelligence & Pentagon Community Very Worried: Intel community nervous about Trump. “It’s fear of the unknown,” said a senior U.S. national security official told the Washington Post’s Greg Miller. “We don’t know what he’s really like under all the talk. . . . How will that play out over the next four years or even the next few months? I don’t know if there is going to be a tidal wave of departures of people who were going to stay around to help Hillary’s team but are now going to be, ‘I’m out of here.’ ”
What it all might look like. The Post’s Missy Ryan surveys some of the more outlandish comments President-elect Trump has made about national security issues and finds that many analysts are afraid that the new White House could bumble or bluster into more wars.
“He’s got a fundamental decision now about whether he’s going to continue in the same vein as president,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “If you literally implement his [campaign’s] security policy, you’re probably risking war in multiple theaters simultaneously.”
All of these fears are real. National security guru Richard Kohn pleads in a new op-ed for Republican defense officials to jump into the fray for the good of the country, writing, “a president as seriously deficient in knowledge, experience and temperament as Trump is going to need a lot of help, and he will need it from the A-Team.”