Mattis likely to become defense secretary, despite Democrats' concerns

Trump and Pence greet Mattis in BedminsterBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is expected to approve President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as secretary of defense, despite Democratic concerns that it ignores a long tradition of civilian control of the military. For Mattis to be confirmed, the Senate and the House of Representatives both must pass a waiver exempting him from a law written when the Department of Defense was created to ensure that the military is under civilian command.Legislators have granted such a waiver only once, in 1950, when Congress passed an act that allowed General George Marshall, who had retired in 1945, to serve as Pentagon chief.

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