Transition 2016

Latest in Transition 2016

Transition 2016

Defending Norms by Defending Norms

One of the proudest days of my life was, oddly enough, January 20, 2009. It's the day I lost my last full-time job. At 11:59 AM, I was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security and, within the scope of my authority, able to order and direct a wide-range of activities. At 12:01 PM, I was a nobody—off on vacation and without a scintilla of authority over anyone except myself.

National Security Agency (NSA)

Breathe Easy: Rick Ledgett’s Retirement is Not a Political Protest

Late Friday, word came out of NSA that the highly-respected Deputy Director Rick Ledgett would be retiring in the spring. Understandably, people wondered whether this was the first indication of trouble out of the intelligence community under President Trump. Was this a sign that principled career officials were resigning in protest; were they being pushed out in favor of political allies of the White House?


House of Cards: Building Our National Security on the Alt-Right’s Alternative Threats

In November, I cautioned that then-President-elect Trump’s appointment of Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and Michael “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL” Flynn as his national security adviser would create “deep risk” for U.S. security.

Supreme Court

A Precedent for Democrats on the Classy Way to Handle Neil Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch is an eminent jurist who is undoubtedly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. So too is Merrick Garland. In the law of the jungle that now governs the confirmation process, where principle is absent and power politics alone is what matters, Gorsuch will likely make it to the Supreme Court for the same reason that Garland did not: The Republicans controlled the Senate last year when Obama was President, and continue to control it now when Trump is President. Elections have consequences and the Democrats lost the key ones.

Foreign Policy Essay

Can Trump Harness the Private Sector to Stop Violent Extremism?

Editor’s Note: Programs for countering violent extremismor CVE, as it is known in the jargonmay be in jeopardy. The incoming administration, in its rhetoric at least, has emphasized "tough" solutions to the problem of terrorism and seems little interested in softer approaches that might discourage radicalization or deradicalize existing terrorists.

Material Support

Should the Muslim Brotherhood be Designated a Terrorist Organization?

Certain segments of the American Right have long been spoiling to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization under the material support statute. And now that Donald Trump is president, talk of designating the Brotherhood is heating up. Sen.

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