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Military Guys Make Lousy Running Mates

July 13, 2016

Clinton and Trump are considering admirals and generals for VP—and it’s not the best idea.

As we approach the political conventions of our major parties—the once-every-four-year summer spectacle that coronates our presidential nominees—rumors are flowing freely about who will be selected as vice president. Speculation about veep choices is attracting more attention than usual, however, since neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton is exactly young, and both have a record of gaffes and screw-ups that could very plausibly lead to their Number Two taking over the White House.

So, who winds up as the vice presidential choices of this year’s nominees could actually matter for our country quite a bit. It therefore says something significant that both Trump and Clinton want it known they’re pondering senior military men—not just the usual seasoned politico types—for veep. Let’s take a look at who they’re considering.

The most interesting possibility is Mike Flynn, a retired army lieutenant general who’s been close to the Trump campaign from the start. His name has been frequently mentioned in the media as a potential running mate for Trump. Flynn is a far from conventional choice. In the first place, he was a career intelligence officer—not a combat arms guy—and his tenure as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency was cut short in 2014 when he was cashiered by President Obama.

General Flynn has worn his firing from DIA as a badge of honor, claiming the White House canned him because he demanded that the truth be told about the rise of Islamic State. In Flynn’s account, Obama refused to take jihadism generally and ISIS specifically very seriously, and the DIA director’s hardline on these issues led to his firing.

Read the rest at The Observer…

From → History, Strategy, USG

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