Originally posted March 10, 2016.
Reuters offers a few answers along with an astounding and embarrassing individual admission.
Asked during a debate last week who he trusts on national security, Trump had warm words for three men with world views that differ from one another: former diplomat Richard Haass and retired U.S. Army officers Gen. Jack Keane and Col. Jack Jacobs.
And on his campaign website last month, Trump announced that he had received endorsements in Florida from two “top national security experts.
Foreign policy experts say they know little about those Trump supporters.
They are Gary Berntsen, a former senior CIA officer, and retired Colonel James Waurishuk, a one-time deputy chief of intelligence for U.S. Central Command during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq who also once served on the National Security Council staff.
“These people are not well known in foreign policy circles…I never heard of any of them,” said Harvard professor and former Kennedy School of Government dean Joseph Nye.
Well, Gary Bernsten, the guy Harvard Professor and former Kennedy School of Government Dean Joseph Nye says he never heard of, is only one of the most important and well publicized CIA operatives that came out of the bin Laden era. Mr. Bernsten told his story to America in the New York Times’ best-seller, Jawbreaker.
Cofer Black, former Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center, has this to say about Gary Bernsten: “Berntsen was the CIA’s ‘go to guy’ when it came to leading in Afghanistan, owing to his exceptional operational and leadership skills in situations involving the threat of immediate danger. Berntsen is brave and bold and a true American hero.”
I read Jawbreaker when it first came out and have read it a number of times since. I’ve also written about Gary often at Richardcyoung.com (for instance, here, here and here). Gary and Cofer Black would be among the first names that would come to my mind in thinking of a presidential foreign policy team.