President-elect Donald Trump has alot to consider. Rather, his running mate, Mike Pence, will be overwhelmed with vetting and working to fill a government under a short time period. But something that is almost independent from the planning is Secretary of Defense. Because a life of work and expertise is so finite compared to most politicians there are any so many who can fill the spot. Obviously, those who helped Trump get where he is will be considered. However, some relatively outsiders to the organic campaign might end up with the job. We will find out in the days to come and in the meantime here’s a review of the reported options.
Michael Flynn – we all know him from his interview at SOFREP, his book, life of service and as head of the DIA. However, his time at DIA puts him into a slightly different category than most other military men in the administration. I would bet he would go on to become National Security Advisor. That’s because he has been close to Trump and Trump might want that to continue to be the case. Time will tell.
Senator Jeff Sessions, Business Insider wrote “Another name being floated is Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator who has been in office since 1996. He supported the 2003 Iraq War and opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the lifting of the ban on women serving in combat roles, foreshadowing major policy reversals he could potentially implement as Defense Secretary.
Sessions has personal military experience, having served as a Captain in the US Army Reserve for 13 years. He currently sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has been advising Trump on national security since March. “He would obviously be a very strong fit” for Defense Secretary, said Joe Kasper, the chief of staff for Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.).”
SOFREP Analysis: It seems very likely that Jeff Sessions may be the pick. However, President elect Trump will need a strong advocate in the Senate.
Steve Hadley, “President George W. Bush’s former national security advisor may reprise that role in a Trump administration, or be tapped to lead the Pentagon as Defense Secretary.
Right now he chairs the United States Institute of Peace, a federally-funded think tank that promotes conflict resolution around the world. He’s also a principal of Rice Hadley Gates LLC, a consulting firm he founded with former national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Anja Manuel, a former State Department official.
Hadley is a controversial figure. The false allegation that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger prior to the invasion made its way into President Bush’s State of the Union speech in 2003, which Hadley later apologized for.
He also sits on the board of defense contractor Raytheon, a potential conflict-of-interest he’d have to remedy should he be tapped by Trump.
He’s been hawkish on Iraq and Iran. He’s also been skeptical of Russian military moves and was critical of the Obama administration’s “Russian reset.” He has also acknowledged the national security implications of climate change.”
Senator Jim Talent, “Last but not least is former Sen. Jim Talent. Talent served in the Senate for much of the Bush administration, finally losing to Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2006. He currently serves on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a group created by Congress that examines the US-China relationship and prepares an annual report on its national security implications.
Like Hadley, Talent is also an Iraq War hawk. Though he wasn’t in Congress for the 2002 vote to go to war, he said in 2006 that he still would have invaded Iraq even with the knowledge there were no weapons of mass destruction.
He wants to enlarge the size of the Army, and opposes the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has been critical of Trump’s approach to NATO — setting conditions to automatic defense of NATO countries — writing that such a move could isolate America from its allies.”
Other names are floating around. However, these men seem to be the most prominent listed and often cited.
Featured image courtesy of Politifake.