Civilians No Longer Controlling Defense Department
In an effort to end the long-standing tradition of the civilian controlled defense department, the Senate has now confirmed retired Marina Corps General James Mattis as the new Secretary of Defense.
While some Democrats are upset that Mattis was in the military, others are upset that he was not in the military long enough. One such example would be New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand, who was against Mattis for the role.
The majority of the Senate felt Mattis was valuable enough to be an exception to the rule, based on his reputation.
John McCain Helps Push Mattis Through
The Defense News reported that the vote was 98-1 within the Senate. The exception required here was that normally, the positions of Secretary of Defense is someone who has been out of the military for seven years. Mattis retired in 2013.
After 44 years of service, Mattis left the Marine Corps. When Mattis retired, GOP Arizona Senator John McCain, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, stood up for Mattis and the waiver to push him through.
That waiver passed the Senate 81-17 and then 268-151 within the House.
Mattis And Trump Don’t Always Agree
Surprisingly, Mattis was not involved with the Trump campaign, but the newly-elected President signed the legislation on inauguration day. “I was not involved in the presidential campaign, and I was certainly not seeking or envisioning a position in any new administration,” said Mattis.
Despite not being involved before his nomination, Mattis said he was honored to be involved with the Trump cabinet. Specifically, he said, “It would be the highest honor if I am confirmed to lead those who volunteer to support and defend the constitution and to defend our people.”
Trump and Mattis disagree on issues with Russia, Israel, Iran, climate change, and certain staff members within the Pentagon, but they both put American first.
Do you think the military should be in charge of the defense department?