Hillary Clinton Likely To Snub GOP National Security Experts Who Support Her

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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GOP national security experts are falling in line to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but defense aides from previous administrations say they should expect Clinton to largely pass them over for key positions.

For Clinton to staff the Pentagon with Republicans would rub progressives in all the wrong places, The Hill reports.

“I think that’s something progressives and those concerned with the challenges of a nation that’s been engaged in war for the better part of the century are keeping an eye on,” spokesman for Democracy for America Neil Sroka told The Hill.

Michael O’Hanlon, senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The Hill that bipartisan appointments ultimately aren’t that useful in the Pentagon.

“I think bipartisan appointments don’t help that much unless it’s just the right person—and unless you govern and choose in a way that seems to reflect the viewpoints of those Republicans, in a sort of compromise style,” O’Hanlon said. “I’m not sure that’s very realistic for most situations, actually.”

It isn’t just one, two, or three Republican national security experts who have endorsed Clinton. Rather, a full 17 have backed her over GOP nominee Donald Trump, whose foreign policy is emphatically opposed to the sort of hawkish ideology favored by much of the GOP defense establishment.

Richard Armitage, who served as President George W. Bush’s deputy secretary of state, is a Clinton supporter, as is John Negroponte, Bush’s director of national intelligence.

In contrast, Trump seems more in favor of scaling back and re-negotiating commitments to international military alliances like NATO — at least until other countries are willing to contribute a greater share of resources to ensure collective defense.

At least for the position of secretary of defense, it seems a long-shot that a Republican could be picked. Instead, Clinton is much more likely to choose Michele Flournoy, who currently runs the Center for a New American Security. After former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resigned in 2014, Flournoy turned down President Barack Obama’s offer to be considered for the job. Flournoy cited family reasons for her decision, but it’s also possible that she turned down the job because she was uninterested in constant micromanagement from the White House.

If she’s chosen for the position in a Clinton administration, she would be the first woman ever to occupy that role.

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