The Financial Times (and the rest of the world’s media) reports, just a bit gleefully, that “Michael Flynn has resigned as US national security adviser over a scandal involving his contacts with Russia, in a major blow to President Donald Trump and his fledgling administration … [and] … His resignation marked the shortest tenure of a national security adviser since the position was established more than six decades ago. It was also an embarrassment for Mr Trump less than a month into his presidency … [and, further] … Mr Flynn, a retired general who was previously fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, stepped down on Monday evening following mounting scrutiny of claims he had illegally discussed sanctions on Moscow with the Russian ambassador to the US.“‘
I, amongst others, felt that President Trump, in appointing General Flynn, was, in effect, thumbing his nose at the military – security – intelligence community. His career, at the highest levels, as been chequered, to be charitable.
“Mr Flynn,” the Financial Times reports, “will temporarily be replaced by Keith Kellogg, 72, another retired general who had been serving as chief of staff on the National Security Council. One official told the Financial Times that Mr Trump was considering three people for the permanent job: David Petraeus, a retired general and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency; vice-admiral Robert Harward, the deputy commander of the US military’s Central Command; and Mr Kellogg himself.”
I have a rather sickening feeling it may be General Petraeus who, in my personal opinion, which is contrary to that held by many, is an average general with a brilliant team of press agents. As the FT notes: “While Mr Petraeus was viewed as one of the most respected generals of his generation — particularly for his role prosecuting the war in Iraq — he fell from grace during his time at the CIA after it emerged he had shared classified information with his mistress.” That’s hardly a good resume for a national security advisor, but it might just make President Trump feel comfortable to have yet another “failed leader,” just like President Trump himself, on his team. Petraeus, despite having a PhD from Princeton, is not, like James Mattis, renowned for either his scholarship (Mattis is known as the “warrior mornk”) nor, again unlike James Mattis, for his special insights into combat and warfare and soldiers. He is, however, charming, personable, glib and so on …