Trump nominates ex-general to head Homeland Security

Gen Kelly spent 45 years in the Marines. He led the US Southern Command.
Gen Kelly spent 45 years in the Marines. He led the US Southern Command.

NEW YORK • Mr Donald Trump has formally nominated retired general John Kelly to head the US Department of Homeland Security, the third former military man tapped for a top job in his presidential administration.

"General John Kelly's decades of military service and deep commitment to fighting the threat of terrorism inside our borders make him the ideal choice to serve as our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security," the President-elect said in a statement yesterday.

"He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies."

Gen Kelly, 66, led the US Southern Command, covering military operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including efforts to stem the flow of illegal drugs across the southern border of the United States and end human trafficking.

"I am humbled and grateful to be nominated to serve in President-elect Trump's Cabinet as Homeland Security Secretary," Gen Kelly said in the statement issued by Mr Trump.

"The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security.

"I will tackle those issues with a seriousness of purpose and a deep respect for our laws and Constitution. I am honoured for the opportunity to be back in the service to our country, and our people."

The third general to be chosen for Mr Trump's Cabinet, Gen Kelly spent 45 years in the Marines.

He had held a range of positions, from field commands in Iraq to political liaison in Congress.

He finished his career as commander of the US armed forces' Southern Command.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2016, with the headline 'Trump nominates ex-general to head Homeland Security'. Print Edition | Subscribe