What's happening: Jake Sullivan, the cadaverous Yale grad and competitive speed walker who serves as national security adviser to President Joe Biden, is at the center of yet another foreign policy debacle.
• "The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades," Sullivan boasted at the Atlantic Festival on September 29.
• Days later, Hamas terrorists funded by the Biden administration stormed into Israel and murdered more than a thousand Jews, including at least 27 Americans, in the worst outbreak of anti-Semitic violence since the Holocaust.
Crucial context: Sullivan joined the Obama administration in 2009 as deputy chief of staff to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton. He served as national security adviser to then-vice president Joe Biden until 2014 and joined the Biden administration as national security adviser in 2021. During his time in government, Sullivan has presided over some of the most humiliating national security disasters in American history.
• The embarrassingly weak U.S. response to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's campaign of mass murder against the Syrian people, even after Assad crossed Obama's "red line" of using chemical weapons.
• The disastrous Iran nuclear deal that transferred billions of dollars to a fanatical regime that happens to be the chief sponsor of Hamas.
• Obama's failure to dissuade Russia from invading Ukraine in 2014 and annexing Crimea, and his refusal to provide meaningful military assistance.
• The 2021 military coup (and ongoing genocide) in Myanmar nearly a decade after then-secretary of state Clinton congratulated herself for opening relations with the Southeast Asian country.
• The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 that resulted in the deaths of 13 Americans and the Taliban's rapid return to power.
• Russia's second invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
• The worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
What they're saying: Sullivan is the consummate White House staffer, an impeccably credentialed—degrees from Yale, Oxford, and Yale Law—psychopath who never sleeps.
• He exhibits a "workaholic intensity unusual even by Washington's standards," according to the New Yorker. "One night a few months ago, Sullivan discovered an intruder who had broken into his home at around 3 a.m., because he was still up working."
• Colleagues describe him as "ambitious and intense," according to the New York Times. He "operated on an average of two hours of sleep a night for the duration of the three-week crisis in Afghanistan in August ."
Why it matters: Bad things happen when powerful officials don't get enough sleep.
• "The public health consequences of sleep loss and sleep-related disorders are far from benign," scientific experts wrote in a 2006 study. "The most visible consequences are errors in judgment contributing to disastrous events."
• Chronic sleep loss can make a 46-year-old look much, much older.
Bottom line: Maybe the so-called experts aren't very good at their jobs.