In not-so-recent news, it was announced early in September that former CIA director to the Clinton administration James Woolsey would be serving as President-elect Donald J. Trump’s national security adviser. In an interview on CNN, Woolsey stated that he favors Trump’s defense budget proposal, as Trump has proposed lifting restrictions on defense spending.
“Mr. Trump’s commitment to reversing the harmful defense budget cuts signed into law by the current administration, while acknowledging the need for debt reduction, is an essential step toward reinstating the United States’ primacy in the conventional and digital battlespace,” Woolsey told CNN in a campaign statement, “Mr. Trump understands the magnitude of the threats we face and is holding his cards close to the vest.”
Woolsey added that Trump appears more likely to keep classified information private, “He seems willing to keep a secret and not to blab everything to the public and our opponents. You can’t go yakking about everything you’re interested in. You have to keep your counsel,” he said.
Just one day after the devastating attacks on September 11th, Woolsey immediately suggested that Iraq could be the culprit, before vigorously supporting the failed 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, which Trump has claimed to oppose on numerous occasions.
Woolsey has been a strong proponent of regime change in Iran, and has referred to the country as “the world’s leading terrorist state.” He opposed the Iran nuclear deal on the basis that it would “heighten the chance that the Islamic Republic would detonate an electromagnetic pulse weapon in the United States,” despite zero evidence to support this claim.
James Woolsey has expressed reservations regarding Trump’s controversial admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggestion that he is a ‘strong leader.’
“He may be strong,” Woolsey said, “but he is not always great.”
Woolsey has referred to Russia and North Korea as “problem states,” and when asked about Trump’s proposal for a new relationship with Russia, he stated that it “has to be based on Russian performances, not Russian promises,” adding that, “Russia’s got to stop conquering its neighbours, like Ukraine.” (Despite the fact that Crimea had a majority-vote to join Russia in the wake of the destabilization of the region by Western-backed neo-nazi regimes.)
All of this to say, if you supported Trump in the hopes of seeing a legitimate shift in the United State’s disastrous foreign policy, maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet. Trump may be a seemingly polarizing President-elect, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t malleable. We’ll see how long his friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin will last.