President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday turned to a third retired military officer to help him run the country when he takes office in January, a move that represents an unusual level of military influence in the executive branch.Libertarian Trump fanboys should be very careful. And this, which one commenter posted, doesn't work:
Mr. Trump gave the nod to retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, according to people familiar with the decision, a nomination that comes after he already has asked retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be his defense secretary and retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn to be his national security adviser.
In addition, Mr. Trump is considering retired senior officers for at least two other top jobs: retired Army Gen. David Petraeus or retired Adm. James Stavridis to lead the State Department, and Adm. Michael Rogers to become director of national intelligence...
“I can’t honestly recall an administration with as many flag officers” in top roles, said Thomas Alan Schwartz, a history professor at Vanderbilt University. “I think this is probably somewhat unprecedented.”...
Critics of Mr. Trump still believe the choices threaten the constitutional fire wall between the civilian government and the military. “This is not normal,” said Stephen Miles, director of the antiwar Win Without War coalition. “As the saying goes, if all you have is hammers, everything looks like a nail.”..
[G. Calvin Mackenzie, a professor at Colby College who has studied presidential transitions] said the Bay of Pigs fiasco during John F. Kennedy’s administration gave the then-president a wariness of military advisers, especially the highest ranking among them.
“Kennedy learned to be very skeptical of the generals, he learned to keep them at arm’s length,” he said. “I don’t know if those lessons of history have trickled down.”
[A]lthough there are definitely exceptions, and these two generals may well be that, often generals are less likely to engage in war as they've seen it up front and personally. Back in my military industrial complex days, I knew some very high-level generals who were against the Kuwaiti invasion (but could not speak out publicly, of course). I have found that military people, in general, are less likely to promote war over the civilian chickenhawk neocon.Both Flynn and Mattis are very eager to take out ISIS. There will be US combat troops on the ground in Iraq/Syria in no time after Trump assumes the presidency. Both also have a passionate hate for the Iranian regime and we should expect at a minimum aggressive destabilization efforts of that government.
However, most disturbing is the surprise naming of Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Do we really want a military man skilled in foreign civilian military occupations running domestic security?