President Donald Trump’s top national security and foreign policy leaders declared their allegiance Tuesday to the global order that U.S. diplomacy fashioned and reinforced over the decades — just a week after Trump upended that order in Helsinki.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis completed two days of meetings with Australia's foreign and defense ministers at the Hoover Institution, a citadel of the foreign policy elite that’s become increasingly dismayed by Trump’s repeated slams at NATO, widening trade war and last week’s private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A top aide to Mattis said the choice to hold this week's meetings at Hoover, where many foreign policy and national security veterans of Republican and Democratic administrations are in residence, was made months ago and was not intended to send any signal beyond that both the United States and Australia are Pacific powers.
The Hoover Institution was founded in 1919 by future President Herbert Hoover, who played a leading role in the American reconstruction of war Europe after both world wars. The think tank is a repository for some of the most exhaustive records on Nazi propaganda and the Cold War and has served as an intellectual incubator for some of the top diplomats and national security leaders over the years.
Working just a few steps from where Mattis and Pompeo held their meetings, for example, are leading GOP figures such as George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's secretary of state, and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser and secretary of state under George W. Bush. Its visiting research fellows over the years have included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and, most recently, retired Army Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, who served as Trump's national security adviser until earlier this year. McMaster was among the Trump administration's toughest critics of Russia.
The article goes on to note that Michael McFaul, who is on a list on names of people that the Russian government wants to question in connection to unspecified criminal allegations, is also a Hoover scholar. Here is Hoover's statement supporting McFaul.
Here is a livestream of the July 24 Mattis/Pompeo event at Hoover.
The think tank recently held an event to promote former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden's new book "The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies."
Here is Think Tank Watch's recent piece about H.R. McMaster returning to Hoover.