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The chaotic presidential transition brings security risks to the country



In the week since Election Day, Trump has refused to admit it and made false accusations of fraud publicly overshadowed by the results. He also refused to give the president-elect Biden resources and daily presidential intelligence briefings to help transition to the new government. The turmoil in the Pentagon may further jeopardize the prospect of seamless switching, and experts believe this is a sensitive moment.

Martha Joynt Kumar, head of the non-profit White House transition project, said: “This is a period of fragility, a period when enemies can test you.”

; “This is what you have to do right. “

In the past transition period, the national security crisis posed a challenge to the president. After militant students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, the hostage crisis in Iran ended in 1981 during the transition period between President Jimmy Carter and President Ronald Reagan. In 1988, during the transition from Reagan to President George HW Bush, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland; during the transition from Bush to Bill Clinton in 1992, In the last few weeks of his tenure, he ordered American troops to enter Somalia.

During the transition period, a direct threat to the homeland has also emerged. Just as George W. Bush welcomed President-elect Obama’s morning coffee at the White House for his inauguration in 2009, their respective national security aides were sitting in the situation room, discussing the possible threat that the U.S. intelligence agency had risen from the incident. According to Kumar (Kumar) ), the extremist group Al-Shabab (Al-Shabab) wrote a book on this transition.

The feared attack never happened, and the inauguration went smoothly. However, the situation room meeting held after the joint crisis training course emphasized the fragility of the country during the presidential transition and how cooperation between the outgoing team and the upcoming team can reduce risk.

David Markik, director of the Presidential Transition Center, said: “Foreign opponents believe that the United States is very busy during the transition period, which proves that we are not a transition country. This is in our national security interests.” He warned: “Failure to make a smooth transition may lead to Put our national security, our economic security and our health and safety at risk.”

Trump expressed no interest in ensuring a seamless transition, but to move on as if he had won a second term. The White House has notified federal agencies to continue preparing for Trump’s February budget submission to Congress.

This situation prompted people to accuse Trump of harming the country.

Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview: “By destabilizing our national security team, we can increase the likelihood that one of our opponents will try to take advantage of us.” “Trump is always distracted, but he is particularly distracted now. There may be a broken, inexperienced or incomplete national security team to deal with the crisis.”

In addition to personnel changes, Trump may also take foreign policy actions before leaving office, which may affect Biden’s future choices, such as increasing pressure on Iran, making it more difficult to resume the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Foreign powers such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey may get more counterattacks from the Biden administration, and they can use the Trump administration’s last months to achieve goals that may challenge later, especially if Washington Busy with the chaotic presidential transition.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not congratulate Biden. A discordant transition may provide leaders on both sides with opportunities to act in their respective regions.

China can expand its suppression of Hong Kong or take action on more disputed islands in the South China Sea, while Russia can take measures in its proxy war in eastern Ukraine.

Murphy said on Twitter: “Congress can fill some of the gaps.” “The bipartisan statements, resolutions and legislation can clearly indicate that during the transition period, the consequences of any escalation actions taken by other major powers will reach a cross-party consensus.”

Uncertainty about the way the United States will react during the A-foot presidency may also prevent foreign powers from taking risks.

“The problem is, if you are actually trying to take advantage of it during this transitional period, you absolutely don’t know whether the US response is immediate or long-term,” said foreign policy Anthony H. Cordesman. Expert of Strategy and International Research Center.

Another transition risk is that Trump administration officials may continue to declassify materials deemed to be politically helpful to the president and his allies. According to the Washington Post, Esper had joined the Director of the National Security Agency, General Paul Nakasson, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, before his dismissal, to oppose the conduct of materials related to Russia. Declassified, believing that such a move will harm national security and the US military. Columnist David Ignatius.

If there is a crisis in addition to the coronavirus pandemic in the first few months of office, then the chaotic transition may disadvantage the Biden administration.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred one month after Clinton took office, killing 6 people and injuring more than 1,000 others. In the same month, federal law enforcement officers besieged a religious compound in Waco, Texas, resulting in the death of dozens of followers. When the siege began, Clinton did not have an identified attorney general. Two months later, during a visit to Kuwait, the authorities thwarted a conspiracy related to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and assassinated George Bush.

The difficult transition between Clinton and George W. Bush was after the reopening in Florida and the subsequent Supreme Court hearing the case, which delayed the final result for more than 30 days and halved the normal transition period. The 9/11 Committee’s report subsequently found that “before the September 11, 2001 attack, this wasted time prevented the new government from identifying, recruiting, cleaning up, and obtaining the Senate’s confirmation of the main appointees.”

The report recommends that the government minimize the interference with national security policies during the transition period by speeding up the key appointment process, and pointed out that the Bush administration has not had a team working with important cabinet bureaucrats for at least six months, and that the team is not prepared to respond The attack on September 11.

During the transition from Obama to Trump four years ago, Russia intervened in the election aimed at boosting Trump, which led to the US issuing a special intelligence report on the matter four years ago, and it gave the upcoming National Security Advisor Michael F. Lin (Michael Flynn)’s interaction with the Russian ambassador was reviewed and later investigated. The veto sanctions against Russia passed in the Senate.

The lack of experience of the Trump team has exacerbated the chaos during and after the transition. Due to the shortening of the transition period, by the end of the first 100 days, George W. Bush had 35 positions confirmed by the Senate, while Obama had 69 positions; according to data from the Presidential Transition Center, Tron Pu is only 28 years old.

Markik said that Bush’s transition to Obama set the gold standard, in part because Bush prioritized this matter after taking office in a hurry.

After a recent law update, Biden entered the White House. Some of them were written and introduced by former Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). Biden is the long-term chief of staff of the Senate and the head of his transition team. The transfer of power.

Among other things, these changes require the establishment of the White House Transition Coordination Committee six months before the election. The Trump administration established the committee, chaired by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, with Deputy Director Chris Liddell as its vice chair. The law also requires each federal agency to appoint a senior professional employee to be responsible for transition activities.

But Trump refused to activate much of the content required by the law. The chief executive of the General Services Administration appointed by Trump should sign a formal notice to begin the transition, but refused to do so.

“Since 2010, the transition has taken a new form. Before 2010, the transition was less formal and was mainly carried out in secret. After 2010, this has become an important obligation for candidates because of legislation. “Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt said that he had served in the George W. Bush cabinet and was committed to amending the law.

Levitt said that the first task of the new administration is to select the White House staff, followed by the selection of the national security team, which includes the national security adviser, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense.

“The most important part and one of the most important reasons [an orderly] The transition is that if you are a big foreign country and look for opportunities to harm the interests of the United States, then you will look for a period of chaos and lack of control, and these may enter a transition period. “Said.

In the past, the United States has experienced a disorderly and intense transition. For example, President John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson did not attend the inauguration of their successors. During the transition from James Buchanan to Abraham Lincoln, the seven southern states seceded from the Union, laying the foundation for the Civil War.

“Chaos may be more of a historical norm, but we have recently established new standards, which is very appropriate. The question is: can the current government accomplish the task?” Stephen Hadley said, he served as George W. Bush’s national security Consultant and played a key role in Bush’s transition to Obama.

Hadley said that even if Trump does not support the transition, his government officials and professional employees of various agencies understand the importance of the presidential transfer and are determined to make a good transition.

He said: “If the President does not destroy it, it will happen.”


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