National security adviser Robert O’Brien to cut NSC staff to 120 by 2020

Oct. 16 (UPI) — President Donald Trump‘s new national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said Wednesday he plans to cut more than 50 National Security Council staff by next year.

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, O’Brien said he plans to reduce the number of NSC staff positions from 174 to under 120 by early 2020.

O’Brien, whom Trump named as his national security adviser in September to replace John Bolton, said the NSC staff has increased more than tenfold since its inception and has strayed from its intended purpose.

“After consulting several of my predecessors and analyzing the NSC’s current configuration, I have determined that the agency can and should be streamlined and in the process restoring the NSC to its historical mission,” he said.

O’Brien said the process will begin by eliminating existing vacancies and consolidating positions deemed duplicative by the White House.

The NSC will also combine some directorates that duplicate other White House offices while focusing its emphasis on directorates that cover geographic regions.

“The great majority of the men and women who serve on the NSC staff, most of whom are detailed from other departments and agencies, will complete their standard tour of duty,” O’Brien said.

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