July 29, 2019

Another High-Ranking Resignation in the United States

US President Is Dismissing the Director of National Intelligence

 

July 28 this year, President of the United States D. Trump announced his decision on resignation of Director of the National Intelligence of the United States of America D. Coats, who should leave his post on August 15, 2019. To replace him, the Head of the White House will nominate John Ratcliffe, a Texas Republican member of the House of Representatives.

The official reason for such a decision is not reported. However, the quite obvious reason for it was D. Coats' disagreements with President Trump on a number of key directions of US foreign policy. First of all, D. Trump's intentions to improve relations with Russia, to continue to pressure Iran over its nuclear program, and to achieve nuclear missile disarmament in North Korea.

 

D. Coats repeatedly publicly criticized D. Trump's positive statements regarding Russia (in particular, after the meeting between US and Russian Presidents last July in Finland). He also publicly questioned the effectiveness of D. Trump's efforts with regard to North Korea. According to D. Coats' statements (in the US Congress included), the DPRK is unlikely to stop work on the development of nuclear weapons. While Iran, in the opinion of D. Coats, still adheres to the terms of the nuclear deal with the United Nations and the IAEA, which makes groundless the United States' withdraw from it.

Principal differences exist between D. Trump and D.Coats over Russia's interference with the US presidential election in 2016. Despite D. Trump's attempts to counteract this issue, D. Coats actively supported the investigation by the US special services and law enforcement agencies of this fact and provided concrete evidence of such Moscow's actions.

All this dramatically undermines D. Trump's political stance, especially with the approach of the next US presidential election in the fall of 2020. Moreover, the issues of Russia, Iran and North Korea were key ones in D. Trump's previous election program. And now he is forced to demonstrate concrete results of his policy in these directions.

Under these circumstances, D. Trump has recently begun to actively criticize the US National Intelligence Agency, accusing it of “incompetence”, “passivity” and “naivety.” And even more, as reported by the media, D. Trump doubts the expediency of the existence the whole Office of the Director of National Intelligence, saying that this is “unneeded bureaucratic structure”.

D. Trump's decision to fire D. Coats is absolutely expected and logical within the framework of struggle for power. Quite logical is also his proposal to appoint to this post J. Ratcliffe, D. Trump's party fellow and his strong supporter. In particular, last week at the hearing in the US Congress, J. Ratcliffe strongly denied the findings of the former special prosecutor R. Müller regarding the actual interference of Moscow in the American elections.

Д. Трамп і Дж. Редкліфф під час зустрічі президента США з Республіканським дослідним комітетом з питань охорони здоров'я в Овальному кабінеті 17 березня 2017 р.
D. Trump and J. Ratcliff during the  US President's meeting  with the Republican Research Committee for Health in the Oval Office on March 17, 2017

In this regard, D. Coats's resignation and his replacement with J. Ratcliffe is part of D. Trump's practice, when professionals who criticize his policy are removed from key public positions and are replaced by submissive persons who do not even have the necessary professional training. It was on this principle that had been fired: US Homeland Security Secretary K. C. Nielsen (expressed doubts about D. Trump's migration policy); the Pentagon Chief J. Mattis (resigned because of disagreement with the President's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria); Attorney General J. Sessions and Director of the FBI, J. Comey(disagreed with the President on Russia's interference with the US elections); US National Security Advisor H.MacMaster and US Secretary of State R. Tillerson (had disagreements with D. Trump on NATO, EU, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Syria); Senior Economic Advisor to the President G. Cohn (was against the introduction of import duties on aluminum and steel).

According to American experts, by such actions, D. Trump tries to strengthen his power and stick to his chosen course in both foreign and domestic policies. At the same time, such a policy does not actually provide positive results for the US and even has caused significant problems, international ones included. At this, D. Trump's relying on authoritarianism and removing professionals from key positions in the country's leadership not only does not resolve the problems, but further complicates them.

*******

P. S. On August 8, 2019, US President D. Trump said Congressman J. Ratcliffe, whom he nominated for the post of Director of National Intelligence, withdrew his candidacy. The US President will soon name a new candidate to be successor of D. Coats.