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Tip sheet: Insecurity about national security

February 15, 2017

In the wake of Michael Flynn’s resignation, national security experts say they have concerns about the White House’s overall security strategy.

“The turmoil evident in President Trump’s National Security Council, as illustrated by the resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn, is worrisome in its own right,” said Gregory Koblentz, director of the biodefense graduate programs at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and a frequent expert cited on national security issues.

“But in light of recent events—such as North Korea’s latest missile test, the escalation of fighting in eastern Ukraine and new reports of Syrian use of chemical weapons against civilians—this dysfunction is becoming a danger to U.S. national security.”

The court challenges, immigration restrictions, the firing of the acting attorney general and now the resignation of the national security advisor challenges the White House to demonstrate stronger leadership, said Jamil Jaffer, director of the Homeland and National Security Law and Policy Program at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

“Given all of these issues facing the new administration, it is unsurprising that allies and enemies alike are looking to test and measure the president and his cabinet’s resolve,” said Jaffer. “It is critical now more than ever that the White House demonstrate that it can offer strong, steady, and stable leadership going forward.”

Gregory Koblentz, associate professor, is director of the biodefense graduate programs at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He has a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and can be reached at gkoblent@gmu.edu or 703-993-1266.

Jamil Jaffer is director of the Homeland and National Security Law and Policy Program at Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Jaffer served as chief counsel and senior advisor for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He can be reached at jjaffer@gmu.edu or 703-993-5620.

For more information, contact Buzz McClain at 703-727-0230 or bmcclai2@gmu.edu.

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George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 35,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.