Trump to nominate retired Gen. James Mattis to lead Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Donald Trump says he will nominate retired Gen. James Mattis to be his defense secretary.

Mattis, 66, is a Marine Corps general who retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.

Trump made the announcement Thursday night at a post-election victory rally in Cincinnati.

Mattis’ selection raises questions about increased military influence in a job designed to insure civilian control of the armed forces. The concerns revolve around whether a recently retired service member would rely more on military solutions to international problems, rather than take a broader, more diplomatic approach.

For Mattis to be confirmed, Congress would first have to approve legislation bypassing a law that bars retired military officers from becoming defense secretary within seven years of leaving active duty.

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