Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of defense gets good grades from the foreign policy and military elite, according to Reuters.
The keyword here is continuity between the Obama and Trump administrations and the Bush administration before them.
Foreign policy remains the same. It allows for minor deviation in approach and rhetoric but at the end of the day the main objective remains in place.
Retired Marine general James Mattis is affectionately known as Mad Dog. He says along with the neocons and the Israelis Iran is the epicenter of international terrorism.
Leon Pancetta has nice things to say about Mad Dog.
Democrat Leon Panetta, a former U.S. defense secretary critical of Trump, says it is worth it [granting Mattis a waiver; he is currently ineligible]. He sees in Mattis a chance that a Trump administration would adhere to core alliances and principles, even ones challenged by Trump during his election campaign… (Mattis) shares beliefs that have been at the heart and soul of protecting our national security for a long time.”
In other words, business as usual despite the campaign promises.
It should be noted Trump has consistently demonstrated disdain for Iran. He came out against the nuclear deal and used it effectively during the campaign.
It is unclear how much influence Mattis will have over Trump, who has also already named Michael Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, as his national security adviser. Flynn was also a close advisor during the 2016 campaign, adopting much of Trump’s rhetoric.
Flynn worked with the Center for a New American Security, a think tank co-founded by Michèle Flournoy, the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. She advised defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta.
Flournoy is a “liberal interventionist,” the Democrat version of a neocon.
These influences will drive Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Trump will give the speeches and the neocons and liberal interventionists will be in the background calling the shots.