"[T]he biggest achievement of Trump’s first 100 days has been his… attempts to challenge the existing power structure in his own party, in the Congress, among the executive branch agencies and… the national security state," retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski said.
Kwiatkowski assessed Trump as being more successful in pursuing his agenda than the US mainstream media had given him credit for.
"I would give him a 60 percent so far. On immigration, he has attempted to restrict it on national security grounds and demanded illegal aliens be dealt with firmly according to existing law. He has attempted to eliminate federal funding to sanctuary cities," she stated.
However, Kwiatkowski cautioned that Trump remained naive and credulous in dealing with senior generals.
"Trump seems to think that the flag officer corps alive today is apolitical and devoted to the US Constitution, and in general this has not been true for several decades," she noted.
"These advisors are not serving the President as well as they might and most of them do not share… his America First and non-interventionist campaign promises… [U]nitl he gets the right advisors and appointees in these areas, he will continue to disappoint his voters, and will open himself for political attack," she said.
Trump was certain to face major problems with both political parties in Congress, Kwiatkowski predicted.
"The Republican-dominated Congress will ally with the mainstream Democratic minority to prevent spending cuts or tax reform. Trump… will face monumental opposition in Congress. His allies on the budget in Congress are not his allies on the war-making side," she observed.
Trump may have to reassess his national security team and replace senior figures on it, Kwiatkowski warned.
"If President Trump, in trying to make sense of his responsibilities in coming months, realizes that some of his security state appointments and their staffs are not his allies, he may replace them abruptly… If he fails to drain a part of the swamp, he will be a one-term president," she said.
Foreign affairs analyst and political commentator Dan Lazare agreed that so far Trump had been co-opted by the US establishment rather than changing or replacing it.
"The thing that stands out most about Trump's first 100 days is the degree of continuity with the previous administration. Foreign policy is largely unchanged… Relations with Russia are as lousy as they were under Obama, if not worse, NATO is still intact," he said.
The deep state continued to set the direction of US foreign and security policies, Lazare concluded.