Monday, December 5, 2016

Trump's Generals

If it wasn’t evident during Trump’s campaign that he loves and respects the military despite his attack on the “war hero” status of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), it should be with his choice of cabinet picks. His choices for secretary of defense is James Mattis, secretary of homeland security John Kelly, and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why does Trump admire generals so much? Could it be because
he is feeling a sort of guilt for not serving in the military himself? He did go to a military prep school though at the New York Military Academy which he claims left him “better prepared him for life in the military than actual military training would have done.” Trump continues his opinion of military training, I [Trump] received “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military” even though he was able to defer the Vietnam War draft on multiple occasions.

James Mattis, "The Warrior Monk" and John Kelly are both retired generals in the Marine Corps. Mattis last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command (the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa and Central Asia) and John Kelly is the former commander of United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). Kelly was the Unified Combatant Command (responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean).
John Kelly

Mattis does have his controversies though. In December 2001, Army Special Forces team and allied Afghan fighters were hit by friendly fire just weeks after the invasion of Afghanistan. Recently retired Lieutenant Colonel Jason Amerine reached out to the closest American military installation available which was commanded by Mattis.
Mattis decided against sending a rescue force without more intelligence. "I hear you, but no, I'm not sending a rescue mission," Mattis reportedly told another officer. "We. Don't. Know. The situation." Mattis eventually sent an AFSOC [Air Force Special Operations Command]" to come to the rescue.

John Mattis
It is reported that three American soldiers were killed along with five Afghans while waiting for AFSOC to arrive. 

 Kelly has clashed with President Obama in the past over women in combat and he is a staunch opponent to the closure of Guantánamo Bay, or as it is known Gitmo. 
Breaking with his love of Marine generals, Trump has picked Michael Flynn as his National Security advisor, an Army general who last served as the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Michael Flynn
Flynn is a registered Democrat who is pro-life. In keeping with Trump’s ideology, Flynn sees the Muslim faith as one of the root causes of Islamist terrorism and describes Islam as a “political ideology and a cancer.” This is a rare stand on Islam from a democrat.

These men who Trump has chosen for his cabinet do come with baggage, some more than others but as far as controversies go, and Trumps most likely pick for Secretary of State, David Petraeus is the most controversial.

David Petraeus is a retired American military officer and a highly decorated four-star general. He served over 37 years in the United States Army with his last assignment as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF); he was also the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). Petraeus’s other assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I).

As CIA director Petraeus reportedly began an affair with Paula Broadwell. Petraeus had chosen Broadwell to be his official biographer in which Petraeus admitted leaking classified information to his mistress and biographer.

David Petraues

 But the real controversy comes as to the punishment that Patraeus received when compared to others who had leaked classified information. Petraeus’s punishment was a slap on the wrist compared to “whistle blowers” such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Manning is imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Snowden is living in exile in Russia while Petraeus is living in freedom and is being considered as Secretary of State.

Finally, Trump is looking at Adm. Michael S. Rogers as the director of national intelligence who currently serves as Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and Chief of the Central Security Service (CSS). Rogers also served as the commanding Admiral of the Tenth Fleet and Commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.

Under Roger’s watch, there has been embarrassing network breaches. Harold T. Martin III, who was a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor was working at the NSA’s premier hacking unit: the Tailored Access Operations (TAO).

Michael S. Rogers

 Martin is accused of carrying out the largest theft of classified government material. Some of the hacking tools he is accused of stealing were mysteriously released online in August. They included computer code based on obscure software flaws that could be used to take control of firewalls and networks and two major compromises of sensitive hacking tools.
There was also a previously undisclosed breach of cyber tools, discovered in the summer of 2015, which was also carried out by a TAO employee.

In 2013, Iranian hackers managed to penetrate the Navy’s unclassified network when Rogers was head of the 10th Fleet/Navy Cyber Command.  

It will be interesting to see if Petraeus is made Secretary of State and if Trump plans to interview generals for other cabinet positions.