January 04, 2017
Armed Services Cmte. Senator: Trump’s Generals Will Make The Presidential Cabinet Great Again
The American people should be encouraged at the nominations of Marine Generals James Mattis and John Kelly to serve in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.
Firstly, James Mattis and John Kelly are forthright, honest leaders. Their candid assessments and unvarnished counsel distinguished them before the Senate Armed Services Committee and earned them the esteem of its members. They upheld the sacred commitment that all senior military leaders must make when testifying before Congress: to give their personal views when asked, even if it differs from that of the administration.
While famous for their straightforward advice, these men also ably exercised weighty diplomatic responsibilities. As war-zone commanders, they led multinational forces, as much a diplomatic challenge as a military one. At negotiating tables with friends and foes alike, they were adept advocates of American interests. This is a heavy burden. It often requires a delicate touch.
We have not made America safer by fostering false notions or substituting slogans for fact-based determinations; we have only succeeded in muddying further already complicated issues and reducing our ability to appropriately respond. To reverse this trend, we need clear-eyed leaders who will soberly assess threats and craft strategic responses. Generals Mattis and Kelly possess the qualities and experience to do so.
As Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said, “unpredictable instability has become the new normal.” In this world, America needs battle-tested truth tellers. Generals James Mattis and John Kelly have proven themselves as such in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee before. I look forward to hearing more of their insights throughout a vigorous confirmation process.
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