Trump is wise to surround himself with generals

We’ve reached an odd point in American political discourse when a civilian president-elect can appoint three civilian former members of the military to key positions in his administration (with his cabinet appointees being confirmed by a civilian Senate) and mainstream journalists fret about whether Donald Trump is forming a “junta.”

Yet that actually happened yesterday, when Politico’s Julia Ioffe tweeted: “Three generals and maybe a fourth. Can we just cut to the chase and call ourselves a junta?” The New Yorker’s Nicholas Thompson mused on Twitter: “How many generals do you need in government before you technically become a junta?” Then, last night the Washington Post picked up on the theme, writing an article titled “Trump Hires a Third General, Raising Concerns about Heavy Military Influence.”

Trump has tapped retired general Michael Flynn to be his national-security adviser, James Mattis to be secretary of defense, and now John Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security. These choices are causing “worries” at the Post: