I wrote yesterday about the need for replacement of senior FBI personnel in order to minimize the accumulation of incumbency power of bureaucrats in the FBI, a power increasingly abused in order to obstruct constitutional authority and authorities over them.
The same is needed in State, the Intelligence Community, and Defense. Walter Russell Mead wrote in Monday’s Wall Street Journal of a foreign-policy showdown of historic proportions. His showdown is that between Progressive-Democrats (my term, not Mead’s) and Republicans over how to interpret administration handling of Ukraine within the framework of the former’s internationalist/Atlanticist perspective that also sees Russia as our main adversary and the latter’s view of not so much internationalist/Atlanticist, more domestic concerns, and maybe more attention to Latin American and across the Pacific.
That’s an important struggle, but it’s a political struggle perfectly well handled at the ballot box. There’s a much larger struggle in progress, though, and it’s insidious for its behind the scenes, not so controllable by We the People, nature. This struggle centers on who controls the formulation and execution of US foreign policy: the President, who is the Constitutional authority, or the bureaucrats of State, IC, and DoD who have their “interagency coordination group,” as described by Progressive-Democrat State Department witnesses during the House Intel “impeachment” hearings.
The latter is exemplified by Fiona Hill’s dismayed testimony that she was “quite cross” that she had been bypassed in the formulation of policy vis-à-vis Ukraine, especially since that “interagency coordination group” was unanimous—unanimous! —in its opposition to that policy. That that group has no existence in law or Executive Order is unimportant to these bureaucrats.
The existence of the struggle between a Constitutional authority and an informal claque is an indication of the need periodically to terminate most bureaucrats to break up their incumbency power. That break up should follow along the lines I proposed for the FBI:
State, IC, and DoD managers who are Presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed should be barred from any service, including pro bono or lobbying, within any of those Departments and Agencies under any immediately subsequent administration; they can go work in the private sector. Their eligibility for State, IC, and DoD employment could be restored with the election of the second President (not the next President reelected) after the one in whose administration they served.
This removal from employment should extend into and across the top tiers just below the confirmation positions, as well.
None of those folks will have necessarily done anything wrong or even untoward; it’s merely necessary to break up and terminate the accumulating power of incumbency and bureaucratic inertia. Some might worry that too much corporate memory would be lost. Such memory and history are valuable in any enterprise; however, there will remain sufficient value in the remaining senior employees. As well as from the non-State, IC, and DoD Federal organizations with their outside-looking-in perspective.