The Risks of a Trump Administration Dominated by Former Military Officers

President-elect Donald Trump with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Bedminster, New Jersey, Nov. 19, 2016 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).
President-elect Donald Trump with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Bedminster, New Jersey, Nov. 19, 2016 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

Appointing military flag officers to civilian roles in a presidential administration is an American tradition. Beginning with Brent Scowcroft in the Gerald Ford administration, several national security advisers have been uniformed officers, and the Central Intelligence Agency has often been led by one, beginning with Adm. Sidney Souers, its first head. Three of the five Directors of National Intelligence, a position created in 2005, have been retired flag officers. Military men have also held Cabinet positions: George Marshall was both secretary of state and secretary of defense; Alexander Haig and Colin Powell both served as secretary of state. Placing a […]

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