Continuing on the theme of military preparedness from yesterday’s blog, it is GREAT to see three strong General officers on President Trump’s team. General James “Mad Dog” Mattis is serving as the U.S. Defense Secretary, Lt. General Keith Kellog is serving as National Security Council chief of staff, and Lt. General H.R. McMaster is now serving as National Security Advisor to President Trump. McMaster will remain on active duty while in service to the President, an unusual but entirely legal way in which he can be utilized.
Where there was genuine concern over the past eight years about how the military was viewed by President Obama, there can be little doubt that President Trump sees the military as a vital part of our country’s defense, and as an integral part of our country’s world presence.
This is a nearly complete reversal from where the military fit in the last presidency. We will have a strong military presence in the decision-making process that simply was diminished and nearly totally ignored in the previous eight years. That will have a significant favorable impact in our foreign relations efforts since our neighbors around the world will know there is a military presence in the arena of U.S. decision-makers.
Some will latch on to this with a fervor claiming that we’ll be more likely to see war as a more favorable solution to world problems than using peaceful methods to maintain peace. In fact, the pure strength of our military has always been the most effective foreign relations tool in our arsenal. The old saying, “Speak softly but carry a big stick” has much truth in it. We were much more likely to be threatened in an Obama-style government than we will be in a Trump-style government.
Our foreign friends will not likely make the mistake of jostling us with low-level flyovers and movement of troops to areas heretofore not occupied by those countries. Especially if there are now going to be sabres in those formerly empty scabbards. We were seen as soft in terms of our willingness to fight, and we were seen that way by the manner in which our armed forces were treated through the budget process, as well as by the wishy-washy edicts from the White House.
The National Security Council has not taken kindly to our new President Trump. These kinds of staffing additions will let those folks know that there is a new sheriff in town and that this sheriff will not emulate the last guy in office. It obviously takes time for a new Administration to find all the right people from its perspective but this Administration is certainly demonstrating that it can make some very solid choices. Of course, that is easier to recognize and appreciate if you are of the conservative persuasion.
I think President Trump has shown brilliance in his selections of staffers. He knows what he wants and he knows how and where to find those people. Another thing that may not be readily apparent in these selections of leading military minds is that they are accustomed to speaking truth to power. If we look back through our relatively recent history, we see the truly highly regarded and successful military commanders were in the mold of a George Patton. Give them their orders, support them with troops and materiel and let them get the job done.
Americans ought to be able to again feel a sense of security that we’ve been denied for the past eight years. We are now marching boldly into the future rather than walking apologetically into the future. It may not seem to mean anything, but the difference is staggering in its impact.
Will President Trump have some egg on his face from time to time? I’d be amazed if that didn’t occur. The liberals will see to that if they have anything to say about it. We will see, probably, a more contentious four years simply because of those who desire it to be that way. We still have the daily eruptions of Trump-hysteria from the liberal news mavens who are just beside themselves with the fact that Hillary isn’t sitting in the Oval office. I saw a couple of columns of that nature today. That garbage is, unfortunately, going to be seen from time to time because that is all the liberals have available in their arsenal.
So, we’ll have the slow-walkers in Congress who’ll do their best to delay Trump’s efforts without regard for anything, frankly, but their own political careers. We need to be very thankful that this is all they can do with the Republican majorities in Congress and with President Trump in the Whitehouse. The mid-term elections will be quite interesting.