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What Does John Kelly’s Exit from The White House Mean For The Military?
News of retired Marine Gen. John Kelly‘s departure as White House chief of oozed out over the weekend like toxic slime. What does it mean for the military?
Nothing good, I fear.
First, it means that there will be one less voice around Trump that speaks with understanding about defense issues, and is willing to speak up when Trump misunderstands something or makes a false assumption. That’s not good. It makes me more worried especially about North Korea, an area where Trump seems to think he knows what he is doing.
In my dealings with Kelly, years ago, I found him to be a tough-minded realist. (He seems to have unleashed his inner right-winger since then, but I never saw that.) The next White House chief of staff is likely not to be as savvy — and also almost certainly will have less military experience than Kelly. The leading candidate until Sunday was Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers, whose closest brush with wearing a uniform was being taken in by the Georgia State Police on a DUI charge. (He reportedly declined to do the breathalyzer thing and got the charge reduced to reckless driving. He also made sure the trooper knew that “I’m the governor’s campaign manager.”)
Second, it means that the Marine Corps’ stranglehold on the top of the U.S. military establishment is loosening. The Corps is losing an alumnus at the White House, and at almost the same time, Trump announced in a tweet that the current chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Mark Milley, will succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford next year as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, it places a question mark over the future of James Mattis, a third Marine, as Secretary of Defense. He’s had a good ally in Kelly, his former subordinate in Iraq, so his job is probably about to get tougher. And in my experience, SecDefs begin to burn out in their third year, into which Mattis is heading. At some point, going home to that food bank in Richland, Washington, may become too strong a lure to resist.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs put on leave an Atlanta-based administrator and reassigned the region's chief medical officer and seven other staff members while it investigates the treatment of a veteran under its care.
Joel Marrable's daughter discovered more than 100 ant bites on her father when she visited him in early September.
The daughter, Laquna Ross, told Channel 2 Action News: "His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."