It seems that President Trump’s reliance upon retired and active-duty generals in staffing the upper echelons of his administration has raised concerns among a large number of well-informed people.
With retired Marine general John Kelly serving as White House chief of staff, retired Marine general James Mattis serving as secretary of defense, and Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster serving as national-security adviser, charges are being levied that the nation has embarked down a dangerous path. Some feel that the abundance of retired military officers in high-level government positions undermines the “non-partisan nature of the military” and decreases the public’s trust in its armed forces. Others are of the opinion that Trump’s reliance on military men will “throw off the balance of a system that for good reason favors civilian leadership.” These criticisms are relatively mild in comparison with those levied in the Boston Globe by journalist and academic Stephen Kinzer, who charges that Kelly, Mattis, and McMaster make up a modern military junta in the halls of the White House.
Read the full op-ed in National Review.
More from CNAS
CommentaryBack to the Future: Transforming the U.S. Army for High-Intensity Warfare in the 21st Century
The Army’s transformation remains a work in progress and potential pitfalls still lurk on the horizon....
By Billy Fabian
CommentaryNext Generation Defense Strategy: Missile Defense
The next administration needs to more fully consider missile defense in the context of strategic deterrence....
By Sarah Mineiro
CommentaryMaking Critical Choices for Better Posture Approaches
The U.S. Department of Defense must make critical choices in the next NDS to better link strategic objectives with posture in support of U.S. interests....
By Becca Wasser
CommentarySharper: The Next Four Years
America will face a range of national security challenges over the next four years. From sustaining military deterrence to bolstering the nation's economic leadership and more...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens