Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | jack keane | james mattis | secretary | defense

Gen. Jack Keane: Mattis an 'Absolutely Terrific Choice' For Defense Secretary

(Fox News)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 November 2016 03:54 PM

Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane said Tuesday he "withdrew from consideration" for the position of Secretary of Defense in President-elect Donald Trump's administration but believes Retired Marine Corps Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is an "absolutely terrific choice."

"He is an experienced wartime commander, a thoughtful, studious person whose reputation for directness and straight talking is a pattern throughout his entire career," Keane, now a Fox News military commentator, told "America's Newsroom" co-host Bill Hemmer.

However, there is a statute in the National Defense Authorization Act requiring a seven-year period between active duty and serving as secretary of Defense, a civilian job. Mattis would need a waiver to serve, since he retired in 2013, but a House Armed Services Committee aide said the waiver would probably be easy to get.

Keane said the tradition of having a civilian as Defense secretary goes back for years, and only one military person, Gen. George Marshall, has held that role since the 1940s.

"The reason is, we strongly believe in this great democracy of ours, the first and longest democracy in the nation that civilians should control the military, and I don't know a military person who doesn't believe that in his soul that that is what should be done and that is part of the strength of this democracy," said Keane. "All that said, there are exceptions and here is one where a president-elect is at least considering putting in a military leader as the Secretary of Defense."

And even with Mattis, as a 40-year military veteran, as Secretary of Defense, military control will still rest with the president.

"He provides directions to the military to execute that the military can never execute anything in terms of troop deployments without the president of the United States authorizing that," said Keane.

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Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane said Tuesday he "withdrew from consideration" for the position of Secretary of Defense in President-elect Donald Trump's administration but believes Retired Marine Corps Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis is an "absolutely terrific choice."
jack keane, james mattis, secretary, defense
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2016-54-22
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 03:54 PM
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