As announced this Wednesday, Trump has nominated retired Marine General John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Kelly, whose final command had him overseeing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, retired earlier this year after having served in the Marine Corps for over four decades.
While Kelly was responsible only for the transportation of detainees after they were released from GTMO, he did absorb some of the criticism associated with Obama’s failed promise to close the facility. Even so, there were less than 100 prisoners left by the time Kelly left the position.
The DHS, which was formed in the wake of 9/11, was created to detect and prevent future terror attacks. The DHS is comprised of agencies that respond to disasters, protect the president, enforce immigration laws, secure air travel, and protect the country’s coastlines.
Kelly will be the third retired general selected by Trump for a spot in his administration following the recently appointed James Mattis, whom Trump has tapped for Sec. of Defense, and Michael Flynn, who has been chosen as national security adviser.
Kelly’s appointment, which must first be confirmed by the Senate, reinforces concerns about an increased military influence in the Trump administration and is another step towards the militarization of our southern border.
General Kelly’s retirement followed a three-year stint as head of US Southern Command, an agency that regularly works with ICE and DHS to thwart immigrant smuggling networks.
Kelly, who is known for his fierce loyalty and outspoken nature, will be the first non-lawyer to lead the DHS.
In other news, Trump has selected Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as US ambassador to China and assures us that he will announce his pick for secretary of state next week.