Bannon Departs from the NSC: A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Editor's Note: Bannon was removed from the NSC Principals Committee, not the NSC. He can still attend NSC meetings.
The recent announcement that Steve Bannon is no longer on the National Security Council has sent not only the Alt-Right, but the Trumpshere as a whole into a panic.
Such a response is understandable, given the deep state takedown of Michael Flynn, and indeed the overall precariousness of Trump’s presidency.
However, we should keep a few things in mind.
First, Bannon was put on the NSC to undo Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s operationalization of the council. In fact, Bannon would have us believe that he chose to leave the NSC after this task was completed.
Second, Bannon was placed on the council to babysit Trump’s first National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, who is no longer part of the picture.
Third, Bannon rarely, if ever, attended NSC meetings.
Perhaps Bannon was ousted, and did not, in fact, leave on his own volition as he has claimed. Even if this is the case, his departure is not terribly concerning for the reasons outlined above.
On the topic of Bannon leaving the NSC, Eric Edelman, former undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration said, “I get a sense that people are going ding-dong the witch is dead. The only thing he doesn’t appear to have is a seat at the NSC principals committee, and it’s not clear how important that will be.”
Mr. Edelman is correct. At this point, the significance of Bannon’s departure remains to be seen.