Here’s the List of People Who Might Replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis | NTK Network Here’s the List of People Who Might Replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Here’s the List of People Who Might Replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Politico listed 6 potential replacements for outgoing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

By NTK Staff | 12.21.2018 @12:00pm
Here’s the List of People Who Might Replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis submitted his letter of resignation this week “amid deep policy disagreements with President Donald Trump,” as Politico put it.

Speculation began almost immediately regarding who might replace the outgoing four-star general at the Department of Defense, and Politico compiled a list of 6 names of potential replacements.

The first on the list is a man that spoke exclusively to NTK Network last year in a wide-ranging conversation, from the U.S.’s role in Syria and North Korea, to the rumor that he had turned down this job when Trump initially won the presidency.

1. Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane

Keane is a former Army vice chief of staff and a frequent guest on Fox News Channel. He recently told NPR that he and Mattis were “of one mind in opposing” Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, and NTK Network asked him in early 2017 about U.S. efforts in Syria.

“This is the first time since ISIS invaded Iraq in January of 2014 that the military has ever been asked to provide a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS,” Keane said, noting that the Obama administration’s approach in the years leading up to this move were lacking in vision.

Keane’s public opposition to Trump’s Syria move may be how he’s signaling he’s not interested in the post.

2. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

The current Arkansas senator is a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees and a former Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At just 41 years-old, Cotton is easily the youngest name on Politico’s list.

3. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Graham, like his friend the late Sen. John McCain, is a strong advocate for Pentagon spending and a large U.S. presence in global affairs.

Like Keane, Graham criticized the president’s Syria announcement, calling it an “Obama-like mistake,” a phrase that was sure to get the president’s attention. That being said, Graham has been one of the president’s strongest and most vocal allies in the Senate.

4. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan

Shanahan is a former Boeing executive and a vocal advocate for Trump’s Space Force program.

“He’s a frequent visitor to the White House and, due to his corporate background, would bring a different perspective than a retired general,” Politico’s Connor O’Brien wrote.

5. Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO)

Talent was a rumored Defense Secretary pick when Trump first took office, but that may have had something to do with his close association with then-chief of staff Reince Priebus. With the former RNC chief gone, Talent may no longer be in the running.

But his experience with Middle East and Asia issues could prove valuable, as well as his work in China.

6. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

Coats is a former Republican senator from Indiana and has taken “a hard line on Russia and the extent to which it interfered in the 2016 election.”

Coats made a splash back in July when he publicly rebuked the president for standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin and claiming he did not “see any reason why” Russia would have been involved in meddling with the 2016 election.

In response, Coats released a statement that said: “The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the President and policymakers. We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

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