Analysts weigh in on likely Trump pick for Defense Secretary

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From left, former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, former U.S. House Rep. Mike Rogers and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
From Stripes.com
From left, former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, former U.S. House Rep. Mike Rogers and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Analysts weigh in on likely Trump pick for Defense Secretary

by: Tara Copp | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 10, 2016

WASHINGTON — A former national security adviser for George W. Bush and congressional defense leaders are considered front-runners for Defense Secretary for President-elect Donald Trump , experts said Tuesday.

Former national security adviser Stephen Hadley is a likely choice for the new Trump administration, defense analysts said. Hadley has worked in the Pentagon under multiple Republican administrations since the 1970s. His more recent assignments include serving as assistant secretary of defense, focused on NATO strategic issues, under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993 and as the former national security adviser to President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.

Unlike several top Republican defense officials from both Bush administrations, Hadley did not break from the party to endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Hadley revealed a little of his thinking in a Politico-sponsored panel in August, when he addressed the choices that Republicans faced and the reasons that some stayed quiet or aligned with Trump. Those advisers “want to have a voice in where the party heads,” Hadley said at the time.

Mackenzie Eaglen, a senior defense analyst for the nonpartisan American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, said Hadley is one of several likely choices for the post.

Hadley’s role as one of the Republican co-chairs of the bipartisan 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel -- a deep dive into how the U.S. military and defense policy should be postured to face future threats -- should have him “certainly on any short list,” Eaglen said.

Hadley “would bring a lot of experience,” said Larry Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense for manpower under President Ronald Reagan who is a senior defense analyst at the progressive Center for American Progress think tank in Washington.

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