Neocon Hawks Pushing US to Brink of War

Trump under pressure from hawkish civilian leadership

Image Credits: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

President Trump’s brain trust of retired military officers has disappeared just as tensions with Iran, Venezuela and North Korea heat up — and critics say the White House is in danger of rushing to the brink of war under a mostly civilian and increasingly hawkish leadership team.

The cadre of officers who once surrounded the president — which Mr. Trump early in his term proudly referred to as “my generals” — made its final exit Jan. 1 when retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis handed the reins of the Pentagon to Patrick M. Shanahan, a 30-year corporate executive from defense contractor Boeing.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The departure followed that of White House National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster and White House Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Kelly, replaced by foreign policy firebrand John R. Bolton and former Republican lawmaker Mick Mulvaney, respectively.

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