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Sudden Changes Under Trump Administration to 2 US Boards of Defense

Published: December 8, 2020
The Pentagon has removed 11 advisors from its Defense Policy Board. overhead view of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. trump administration
Major shifts have occurred in the U.S. Department of Defense. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Significant changes in the Defense Business and Defense Policy Boards have recently taken place under the Trump administration. 

According to the Defense News website, new members to the Defense Business Board include Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager; David Bossie, a Republican activist best known as the leader of the Citizens United group who is organizing the effort to challenge election results; and Cory Mills, an Army veteran and columnist for the Newsmax website.

A statement from the Pentagon said that nine members of the Defense Business Board were removed because their terms had expired. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller expressed gratitude for the effort contributed by the people whose positions expired, and optimism for the new incoming members stating: “These individuals have a proven record of achievement within their respective fields and have demonstrated leadership that will serve our Department, and our nation well.”

Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, a former member of the Green Berets and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has had his position for only a month, since right after the election President Donald Trump fired former Pentagon Chief Mark Esper. 

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller, official portrait. (Image: Department of Defense)
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller, official portrait. (Image: Department of Defense)

The Defense Business Board is responsible for providing independent advice for best business practices within the defense department, which is supposed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of support for U.S. soldiers. It consists of 25 members and none of them are paid.

Changes have also been made to the Defense Policy Board, whose duty is to provide independent informed advice to top military personnel on threats facing the United States. Although the board has influence, it has no tangible role directly inside the pentagon policymaking process.

According to the Foreign Policy, the following members have been removed from the Defense Policy Board: Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright; retired Adm. Gary Roughead, who served as chief of naval operations; onetime ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman; Rudy De Leon, a former chief operating officer at the Pentagon; former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; David McCormick, a former Treasury Department undersecretary during the George W. Bush administration; Jamie Gorelick, a Clinton administration deputy attorney general; Robert Joseph, a chief U.S. nuclear negotiator who convinced Libya to give up weapons of mass destruction; former Bush Deputy National Security Advisor J.D. Crouch II; and Franklin Miller, a former top defense official.

The Department of Defense officially stated: “As part of long-considered changes, we can confirm that several members of the Department’s Defense Policy Board have been removed,” and that: “We are extremely grateful for their dedicated service, commitment, and contributions to our national security. Future announcements for new members of the board will be made soon.”

Another change for the Pentagon was the resignation of Christopher Maier, the Director of the DoD Defeat-ISIS Task Force. The Pentagon attributed his resignation to the success in the effort of taking down ISIS and increasing counterterrorism policy, both at home and abroad.  

By David W. 

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