Past Features

November 28, 2016

Send in the Marines!

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Washington Times   
Border security hawk Gen. John Kelly attracts Trump Cabinet interest
    What attracted Team Trump to retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly for a Cabinet post was a dissertation on the southern border he delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015.
    Gen. Kelly's supporters told The Washington Times that his hawkish testimony caught the eye of Donald Trump's key adviser, Steve Bannon, and won him an audience Nov. 19 with the president-elect at his New Jersey country club.
    “In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation's doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland,” Gen. Kelly told the Senate committee.
    President Obama's aides at the time frowned on his testimony depicting the porous border as a threat to the nation.
    Gen. Kelly has been endorsed by fellow retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who is in the mix for defense secretary. Gen. Kelly reciprocated by plugging Gen. Mattis, supporters say.
    Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff who telephoned Gen. Kelly to set up the New Jersey meeting, said Sunday on “Meet the Press” that Gen. Kelly is under consideration for secretary of state, in addition to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
    A Kelly supporter said the retired four-star general is also being considered to lead the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for guarding the leaky southern border with Mexico. Mr. Trump has vowed to build a wall along the border and stop the chaotic movement of deported criminals, drug traffickers, and masses of youths and adults fleeing violence in Central America.
    Mr. Trump's evaluation of Gen. Kelly not so much for his distinguished war record but for his knowledge of border issues and Southern Hemisphere governments shows a priority on enacting immigration policies during his first 100 days in office.
    If Gen. Kelly and Gen. Mattis win Cabinet posts, it would create a unique Marine Corps triumvirate, as Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford is now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer.

American Border Patrol
The needed skills
    Retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly has the skills needed to reform the Department of Homeland Security, including knowledge of technology and logistics, and the proven ability to manage a large organization.