Ex-Obama adviser argues Biden should fire Sullivan over Afghanistan

A former White House adviser in the Obama administration penned an op-ed Monday arguing that President Biden should fire national security adviser Jake Sullivan in light of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

In a piece published in USA Today, Obama’s former director of global engagement Brett Bruen argued that Sullivan, whom he served with in the Democratic administration, has failed in all aspects of his position. 

“The national security adviser has two jobs. As the name suggests, they are the last and ideally closest counselor to the president in the Situation Room,” Bruen wrote. “Their second duty is to translate the commander in chief’s decisions and direction into practical policies. Sometimes that requires speaking truth to power. On all of these scores, the current occupant of the office appears to have failed.”

Bruen said Sullivan is well-versed in the theories and arguments of foreign policy, but that he lacked overseas experience that has resulted in a “disconnect between ideas and execution.”

“Yes, Biden wanted out of Afghanistan. It was on Sullivan to figure out how to achieve the president’s goal while ensuring we avoided potential pitfalls and problems. That’s clearly not what happened,” wrote Bruen.

Bruen argued that Sullivan should have mediated Biden’s clear desires instead of just “going along.” He opined that the Biden administration has so far been “stronger on slogans than substance when it comes to foreign policy.”

The former Obama adviser also bemoaned what he described as an abundance of “political types” filling highly influential positions instead of career diplomats.

“Those appointments across the national security structure are a reflection of the arrogance that has accompanied the arrival of this team. They came in largely ignoring the worries and warnings of institutional experts on several major international issues,” Bruen wrote.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment on Bruen’s piece.

Tags Barack Obama Jake Sullivan Joe Biden

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