Stimson in the News

Gordon Adams quoted in Politico on Trump’s selection of generals for foreign and security policy positions

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Donald Trump is enlisting generals for the upper ranks of his administration to a degree uncommon in modern politics — and that has some lawmakers, diplomats and former national security officials worried that the president-elect will be relying too heavily on military leaders to shape foreign and security policy.

Not that Trump’s candidates aren’t qualified — in particular, his choice of retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis for Defense secretary drew widespread praise after Trump announced it Thursday.


Others agreed. “It isn’t about personalities,” said Gordon Adams, a former White House official who now teaches at American University. “The problem here is structural. A president who doesn’t know much about foreign policy and a vice president who doesn’t know much about foreign policy are surrounding themselves with people who served in uniform. It runs counter to the American tradition of civilian control.

“Just because they shed their uniforms, it doesn’t make them civilians,” he added. “They are still giving military advice. Mattis is a great battlefield commander, but he has never been a policymaker.”

Read the full article here.

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