The U.S. Department of Defense plans to add eight new members to the Defense Policy Board, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller announced on Monday, Dec. 14, an effort to remake the independent advisory council after it removed 11 high-profile advisers in November.
“These incoming members bring extensive defense and national security affairs experience to this advisory committee from their time in Congress, the State Department, our armed forces and beyond,” Miller said in a statement.
“I’m confident the Department of Defense will benefit greatly from their time and service to the board,” he added.
The Defense Policy Board was established to provide the secretary of defense and the deputy secretary of defense independent advice and recommendations on matters concerning defense policy through the undersecretary of defense for policy.
The new appointees include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization Thomas Carter, military historian Dr. Edward Luttwak, former fighter pilot Scott O’Grady, former naval officer Thomas Stewart, former Republican Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes, former Republican New Hampshire Sen. Robert Smith, and former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer.
The list indicates the Trump administration continued its efforts to replace Pentagon advisers with the president’s loyalists.
The Pentagon last week also tapped China policy expert Michael Pillsbury to chair the board, and named former National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty as a member.
Pillsbury, known as a China hawk, has served as an outside adviser to the president on China.
The announcement came after the Pentagon in late November ousted 11 advisers at the Defense Policy Board, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, who tended to favor the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).