Opinion

The Motivations of Mr. or Ms. Anonymous

The recent New York Times op-ed by an anonymous member of President Trump’s administration detailing an active resistance movement articulates an interesting dilemma depending on your perspective. If you support President Trump the op-ed describes a White House team that is undercutting his administration and leadership – providing evidence of the existence of a “deep state.” If you are neither a Trump supporter nor a member of the public resistance the anonymous op-ed reinforces the perspective that Trump is out of control and those around him in the White House share a common concern about his ability to govern. As a counterintelligence expert I read the op-ed from a completely different perspective. I questioned the motivation of Mr. or Ms. Anonymous in writing the op-ed in the first place.

Assuming Mr. or Ms. Anonymous accurately described the existence of the resistance in the White House, why bring it to the attention of President Trump and his inner circle of advisors? Revealing the existence of the resistance inside the White House seems counter-productive to its purpose. Any clandestine effort by those inside the resistance to prevent President Trump from harming the governance and policies of the United States will be harder thanks to op-ed. Those loyal to President Trump will work harder to vet and monitor those that may be part of the resistance. Indeed, the loyalists have already initiated a systematic campaign to ferret out the op-ed’s author. But perhaps that is what Mr. or Ms. Anonymous wants.

Analyzing the possible motivations of Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, one has to consider the real motivation may simply come down to money. The op-ed may simply be a public relations stunt in advance of a pending book deal for Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Based on the amount of publicity and media coverage, there is no doubt that literary agents are eager to discover the identity of the op-ed’s author too. This may explain why Mr. or Ms. Anonymous is willing to reveal the existence of the resistance in the White House and undermine its effectiveness in the future. Because in the end, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous is not really concerned about protecting the government from President Trump. If this analysis is correct, it is likely Mr. or Ms. Anonymous will step out of the shadows in the near term and start their book.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Dan Deyo

Dan Deyo is a former Soviet Ground Force analyst for the CIA. Deyo is also author of the book “Legions of the East: A Compendium of the Russian Army in the First World War.”

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