Trump’s Defense Pick Challenges Rules Regarding Civilian Control Of The Military
Retired Gen. James Mattis’ nomination to be President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of defense may, well, march through the Senate, but there is one potential obstacle to maneuver around: the retired general part.”That a person who has within ten years been on active duty as a commissioned officer in a Regular component of the armed services shall not be eligible for appointment as Secretary of Defense.”
The idea was to ensure that the nation’s armed forces be controlled by a civilian. Congress almost immediately waived the rule, allowing President Truman to name revered Army Gen. George Marshall to serve as defense secretary in 1950. The law was changed in 2008, reducing from ten to seven the number of years that a nominee must be retired from the military.
Still, Mattis does not qualify, because he retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.
The question is, how big of a problem is this for Mattis’ confirmation chances?
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