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Militarization of the Trump Administration

July 1, 2018

It became common practice that Cabinet agencies of the federal government were managed by civilians and the National Security Act of 1947 that created the Defense Department also made it a requirement that only civilians could lead the Department.  Service agencies were also required to be led by civilians.

Gradually, however, the appointment of former Generals and Admirals came into prominence.  Here is a list.

Ronald Reagan:      Gen. Al Haig, Secretary  of State

Gen. Colin Powell, National Security Council

Bush 41                     Gen. Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor

Bush 43:                    Gen. Colin Powell, Secretary of State

Barack Obama:         Gen. Eric Shinseki, Veterans Affairs

The damn burst with the election of President Donald Trump who did not serve in the U.S. military, but has demonstrated a loyalty to, and fondness for, former General and Flag Officers.  Some point to President Trump’s education at New York Military Academy where his parents sent him when they felt he needed to acquire discipline.

Donald Trump:         Gen. James N. Mattis, Secretary of Defense

Gen. Michael T. Flynn, first National Security Advisor

Gen. H.R. McMastersecond National Security Advisor

Gen. John F. Kelly, Homeland Security and Chief of Staff

Brig. General, Mitchell Zais, Deputy Secretary of Education

Rear Admiral Eric C. Jones, Military Advisor to the                                                                               Secretary of Homeland Security

Adm. Harry Harris, Ambassador to South Korea

With former Generals at Defense, Homeland Security, the National Security Council, the Department of Education, and now the Department of State, not to mention appointment of a retired Navy Seal at the Interior Department, President Trump has abandoned the principle of civilian control.

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