Trump’s National Security Team Not Ready

January 19, 2017 International and national security experts have expressed concerns that on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump‘s inauguration–it remains unclear if his transition team has reviewed any of the nearly one hundred pages of classified documents describing threats to the homeland prepared and sent by the National Security Council.

The Obama administration first met with Trump’s team two weeks after the 2016 presidential election. Due to a lack of security clearances, members of Trump’s transition team could not read the classified documents prepared by the Obama administration. The documents include 275 security briefings on North Korea’s nuclear program, the war on ISIS, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other threat the Trump administration could face in its first weeks in office. The National Security Council then created unclassified versions of the papers, but according to a report by the New York Times on Wednesday — no one knows if the documents have been reviewed.

The U.S. State Department and Department of Justice transitions are among the agencies lagging behind schedule. The transition team’s most critical delay has been with the National Security Council. Since its inception, the National Security Council“s function has been to advise the President and his senior national security advisers and cabinet officials on national security and foreign policies. The N.S.C. also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating policies among various government agencies including the U.S. Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency.

In the first weeks of George W. Bush’s presidency, Retired Army General Wesley K. Clark blamed President Bush, at least in part for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, saying the administration had been warned about the threat of Osama bin Laden but did not act quickly enough to prevent the tragedy. Later unclassified documents reveiled that on August 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. The heading of the now infamous presidential daily brief read “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”


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