What’s the Most Immediate National Security Issue Facing Trump?

11/17/16 CBN Interview with Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro Interview on CBN

President-elect Donald Trump is building his administration and many are watching closely to see who he’ll put on his national security team. Professor Ryan Mauro, the national security analyst for the Clarion Project, weighed in on some of the potential choices. The Clarion Project is a non-profit organization with the goal of shining the light on the dangers of Islamist extremism.

“I like a lot of the names that are being thrown out there such as Jim Woolsey, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions,” Mauro told CBN News.

Woolsey served as the CIA director under President Bill Clinton. Bolton served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. Giuliani is the former mayor of New York City and gained national acclaim for his handling of the 9-11 crisis. Sessions has served as a U.S. Senator from Alabama since 1997.

Mauro believes the most immediate issue facing Trump is dealing with al Qaeda and ISIS.

“The issue I really need to hear some articulation on is (how) ISIS’s loss is al Qaeda’s gain,” Mauro said. “So if al Qaeda’s picking up the remnants of ISIS and other groups are joining and aligning with al Qaeda in Syria as they are, then how do you gain ground against the ideology and the groups that act on behalf of that ideology?”

Another national security issue facing the Trump administration is the Iran nuclear deal.

“If Trump wants to scrap that deal the second that he takes that oath of office, he can do it,” Mauro said. “It’s an agreement between two countries, leaders, and one of the leaders — ours — is no longer in power at that point.”

“But what I would recommend is that the United States implement tough sanctions on Iran for terrorism and human rights and start backing Iranian opposition groups,” he continued. “The Iranian regime has said they would respond by pulling out of the deal if they did it.”

“I would much prefer to force Iran to scrap the deal than us,” he said.

Another national security issue before the Trump administration involves the Muslim Brotherhood. Walid Phares, a foreign policy advisor for Trump, has said the president-elect will work to pass legislation designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

“Walid Phares is another name that gives me a lot of confidence; there are few people that I would like to see in an administration more than Walid Phares,” Mauro told CBN News. 

“There is a bill in Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,” he continued. “The Trump administration makes it more likely than ever that that will happen. The reason that is important to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist group is because it is the parent group of Hamas.”

“Hamas is just the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, so Hamas is banned in the U.S., but the rest of the Brotherhood is not,” Mauro said. “And so they’re allowed to influence our politics, our debate, our civil society, our policy, and that can go on no longer. That has to be stopped.”

** Reprinted with permission from CBN