Former CIA and NSA director critiques President Trump’s presidency

Photo by Gabi Campbell

Previous director of the CIA, NSA and retired four-star general, General Michael Hayden shared his criticisms of President Trump and anxieties for the future in the Classroom Building lecture hall Oct. 11.

“I do fear we are flying by and may end up in a very dark place,” Hayden said.

Hayden shared insights on current events and focused on five tectonic shifts occurring in today’s world. The tectonic shifts included power of states and the nature of power, lack of permanency, the proliferation of nuclears to brittle states, the rise of China and lastly, where does America stand in the new world.

“We are the most disruptive force on the planet right now because we’re big, powerful, important and no one knows where we’re going’,” Hayden said.

Hayden served under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. He describes the current presidency by comparing Walter Russell Mead’s archetypes of presidential foreign policy styles to President Trump.

“Walter Russell Mead puts President Trump squarely in the Jacksonian tradition,” Hayden said. Mead describes the Jacksonian tradition as someone who is a nationalist, populist, suspicious of the outside world and willing to use force.

“That’s why you get Trump during the campaign saying, ‘I’m not going to kill just terrorists I’m going to kill their families too,’ which is kind of a Jacksonian-rooted thing.” Hayden said. “I actually think President Trump is the first Jacksonian president in the White House since, um, Jackson.”

“I thought that it was very interesting and beneficial. He kind of brought it to our level but he didn’t put a blanket over it,” Hannah Goldie, a communication student, said.

UVU has taken an active role in the areas of government surveillance, geopolitics and cybersecurity having launched a national securities program and a master’s program in cybersecurity just this semester, according to president Holland.

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