Donald Trump has chosen yet another Marine General for a senior cabinet position. General John Francis Kelly has been selected to be the nation’s next Secretary of Homeland Security according to Daily Caller reporter Russ Read.
Kelly was the head of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) until his retirement in January. He is the third general joining the Trump administration, having been preceded by Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who will serve as national security advisor, and Marine Gen. James Mattis, who will serve as secretary of defense.
Like fellow Mattis, Kelly is known for his no-nonsense attitude. His appointment comes as a bit of a surprise, given his disdain for politics. He once referred to U.S. politics a “cesspool” in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine this summer. He also did not endorse Trump during the campaign, and expressed interest in working for either a Republican or Democratic administration.
The stereotypical Irish-Catholic kid from Boston, General Kelly served almost half a century in uniform, rising from Parris Island buck private to the four star honchoing SoCom.
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General Kelly displayed his martial prowess when he played a central role in destroying AQI (Al-Qaida in Iraq) before the Obama retreat from the embattled nation.
After the American withdrawal, the few hundred AQI survivors reconstituted themselves and replenished their ranks, eventually becoming known as ISIS. The terrorist organization is now estimated to have over 40,000 well armed and well trained fighters.
However, early in the Iraq conflict, there was a particular instance that says volumes about the General; (Emphasis mine)
I was sitting taking it all in with my driver Cpl Dave Hardin from Dallas, and with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times. The reporter asked me a question that I’d never considered in my entire 36 years in the Marine Corps as both enlisted man and officer before the asking, but one I took up in my mind when he did. He pointed out the size and capability of the Iraqi forces in front of us that was many, many times bigger than we were in men, tanks, and artillery.
He emphasized much to my discomfort the massive supplies of chemical weapons Saddam was thought to have, and the multiple means he had to rain their terrible kind of death upon us. He asked if I’d ever contemplated defeat. If it was even possible? My thoughts immediately took me back to trips I’d made to Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Inchon Korea, and Vietnam, and the conversations I’d had with veterans of those battles, mostly old men now. They tell of friends who made it, and many who didn’t. About the good times, and the bad, but mostly about the good as is typical of our veterans. My response to the reporter was something like: “Hell these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain’t shit.”
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