We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Christmas Presents
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 25th August 2017 > Meet The Parents

Meet The Parents

Last November, when James Mattis traveled to Bedminster, New Jersey, at the behest of the president-elect, his close friends were shocked.

FROM WAR WITH NORTH KOREA TO DEADLY ISIS ATTACKS, TRUMP’S GENERALS

They couldn’t believe Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, would consider working in the new administration as secretary of defense. “Jim,” his friend Peter Robinson asked him, “Donald Trump?”

For three years after leaving the Marines, Mattis had been ensconced at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, padding around campus in sneakers and jeans, a backpack slung over his shoulder, happily working on a book. The man retired Marine Colonel Gary Anderson calls “the finest combat leader our military has produced in decades” looked like an “old graduate student,” as Stanford colleague Robinson puts it. And he had little intention of changing that. Until Trump called.

Two other prominent retired generals received similar calls—and they, too, agreed to serve: national security adviser H.R. McMaster and newly appointed chief of staff John Kelly, who first joined the administration as the head of Homeland Security.

Trump calls them “my generals,” a title their colleagues say makes them a bit uncomfortable. And now, six months into a chaotic administration, under an unpredictable president who many fear isn’t fit for the job, the skepticism that many of their friends initially evinced has been replaced by something else: “relief,” says Johns Hopkins military historian Eliot Cohen, a friend of all three. “These are grown-ups in grown-up jobs. God knows this administration needs them.”

It is hard to overstate how widespread that feeling is among key U.S. allies—and even some adversaries, especially now with a mounting nuclear crisis in North Korea and Trump’s use of bellicose rhetoric unnerving friends and foes. One Chinese diplomat who, like many others in this story, would speak to Newsweek only on condition of anonymity, says his government—like many others—had “no idea” what to make of Trump when he won the presidency. But it was “somewhat reassured” by the appointments of Mattis, McMaster and Kelly, all of whom had “reputations as intelligent, reasonable men,” the diplomat says. The ambassador of a key U.S. ally who’s in almost constant communication with the administration about the crisis in North Korea is more blunt. “It’s hard to imagine what things would be like without them.”

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Newsweek International - 25th August 2017
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 25th August 2017
$7.99
Or 799 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 1.04 per issue
SAVE
87%
$52.99
Or 5299 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 1.41 per issue
SAVE
81%
$5.99
Or 599 points

View Issues

About Newsweek International

READY FOR WAR? CAN TRUMP'S GENERALS SAVE AMERICA FROM TRUMP? Trump calls them “my generals,” a title their colleagues say makes them a bit uncomfortable. And now, six months into a chaotic administration, under an unpredictable president who many fear isn’t fit for the job, the skepticism that many of their friends initially evinced has been replaced by something else: “relief,” says Johns Hopkins military historian Eliot Cohen. “These are grown-ups in grown-up jobs. God knows this administration needs them.”
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points