After Bolton: 5 Things the Next National Security Adviser Must Do on Day 1

Daniel R. DePetris

The race to be President Donald Trump’s next national security adviser is on, and it’s anybody’s guess who will emerge from the pack of 15 or so individuals now on the list.  

Curt Mills, a senior writer for the American Conservative who broke the story of John Bolton’s resignation, writes that U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell (a favorite of Don Jr) is a serious contender.  Former U.S. Army Colonel and Fox News favorite Douglas Macgregor is also in contention, perhaps the closest to Trump in terms of extricating the United States from the endless wars that have sucked up so much blood and treasure over the last 18 years.

Just as important as Bolton’s replacement, however, is what the replacement does to steady a ship that could use some patchwork before the water comes rushing in.  The next national security adviser needs to get to work the moment he or she steps into the White House.  

1. Get rid of Bolton’s people

John Bolton is an uncanny bureaucratic operator. Indeed, he may be one of the best at playing the inter-agency game. The national security veteran isn’t afraid to plant loyalists throughout the bureaucracy and to cut up those who don’t get with his program.  As long as Bolton’s aides are in positions of power, the next national security adviser will have to deal with the leftovers of a Bolton regime that will drag out the process or delay the paperwork.  While a few have moved on already, all of them need to go.  A house cleaning is in order.

2. Drill accountability

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