What Happens When You Fight a ‘Deep State’ That Doesn’t ExistThe InterpreterBy MAX FISHER MARCH 10, 2017The Trump administration, in its fight against the “deep state,” could risk exacerbating the very problems it has pinned on shadowy bureaucratic forces: leaking, internal conflict and the politicization of institutions like intelligence agencies.[Comment at Unz.com]
American institutions do not resemble the powerful deep states of countries like Egypt or Pakistan, experts say. Nor do individual leaks, a number of which have come from President Trump’s own team, amount to a conspiracy.The diagnosis of a “deep state,” those experts say, has the problem backward.Mr. Trump has put institutions under enormous stress. He has attacked them publicly, implied he would reject intelligence findings that cast his election in a poor light, hobbled agencies by failing to fill critical positions and cut off bodies like the National Security Council from shaping policy.That has forced civil servants into an impossible dilemma: acquiesce, allowing their institution to be sidelined, or mount a defense, for example through leaks that counter Mr. Trump’s accusations or pressure him into restoring normal policy-maker practices.Those defensive acts have deepened perceptions in the Trump administration of a “deep state” that must be rooted out. …“You get the feeling that Trump doesn’t understand that working invisibly through the bureaucracy would strengthen him,” she said.