Trump adds second Marine to cabinet, critic of Obama Middle East approach

December 7, 2016 19:23
1 minute read.

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump selected retired Marine Corps general John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, filling out his burgeoning national security council with another military man who has been openly critical of the Obama administration.

Kelly joins retired Marine Corps general James Mattis, who will lead the Pentagon, and retired Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn, serving as Trump's first national security advisor.Trump is also said to be considering David Petraeus, former head of US Central Command, for several cabinet-level posts.

Upon retiring earlier this year, Kelly was the military's longest-serving generals having worn the uniform for 45 years. His son died serving while in combat in Afghanistan in 2010.

Running US Southern Command, Kelly had little interaction with Israel and its challenges. But he was vocal in his criticism of US President Barack Obama's general policy approach to the Middle East, particularly on the way in which he chose to pull American troops out of Iraq and his decision to integrate women into all roles of the US military over Marine Corps objections.

He also publicly pushed for the State Department to acknowledge what he characterized as Iran's increasing influence in the Western Hemisphere, through the growth of its proxy organizations.

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