With Mattis and Petraeus, Trump seeks realism

Rumors are spreading about the so-called difficult composition of the future administration of President-elect Donald Trump. The latter would be hesitating between appointing retired General and former CIA Director David Petraeus as Secretary of State and appointing retired General and former Commander of the Central Command of the United States (CENTCOM) James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

Even though Trump would like both of them to participate in his administration, the Transition team chaired by Vice President-elect Mike Pence would strongly discourage the presence of two retired Generals in the two most prestigious positions which are the two most exposed abroad as well. Whatever Trump’s final choice, these meetings with Petraeus and Mattis confirmed Trump’s electoral pledge to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS) and therefore indicated the continuation of US military operations abroad mostly refocused on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency.