My Two Cents:  General John Kelly is a good choice for Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security

GeneralKellyWhen I first heard that President Elect Trump picked General John Kelly as Secretary of DHS, I was a bit confused and unsure of why and how he would be a good fit. I was under the assumption that the post would go to someone like Rudy Guliani, Attorney General of Kansas Kobach or Rep. McCaul. After just a bit of thinking, I realized that he would be a great change and fit for DHS.

When I first heard that President Elect Trump picked General John Kelly as Secretary of DHS, I was a bit confused and unsure of why and how he would be a good fit. I was under the assumption that the post would go to someone like Rudy Guliani, Attorney General of Kansas Kobach or Rep. McCaul. After just a bit of thinking, I realized that he would be a great change and fit for DHS.

Having recently served as the Commander of SOUTHCOM, General Kelly has a great understanding of the threats and vulnerabilities that the illicit drug trade poses to the U.S. by air, sea and land from our neighbors to the south and Caribbean. He understands how terrorists and drug traffickers can exploit our land and maritime borders to their benefits. In his last testimony to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, he detailed in great depth, the drug issue and the threat it poses to our homeland. He complained about the lack of resources needed to combat the issue. He also commended the U.S. Coast Guard for their work in interdicting smugglers.

In 2015 Admiral Zukunft, Commandant of U.S.C.G. released the Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy. The key component of that Strategy is to “break the network” meaning dedicating resources and energy to address transnational organized crime (TOC). I think that having General Kelly at the helm of DHS will help the Coast Guard in this mission. Coast Guard will now have an ally at the top who understands their mission not just from a policy and bureaucracy point of view but from an operational and tactical point of view.

In addition to the counter drugs and terrorism mission, I believe General Kelly has a great understanding of emergency management and disaster relief. Over the last few decades, SOUTHCOM has become a great responder and organizer of disaster relief and support efforts for the Caribbean, South and Central America. That experience will help General Kelly understand and support FEMA.

There are so many components of DHS from HSI to CBP that will benefit from General Kelly’s experience at SOUTHCOM. His military and tactical background will serve the department well and provide our first responders, field agents and military component (USCG) the support and boost they need to do their jobs to protect us.

I’ve been working with homeland security since 2007 and this may just be the best fit I’ve seen yet for DHS.