WASHINGTON, Feb 15 — Three retired senior military officers are seen as possible replacements for White House national security advisor Michael Flynn, who resigned in a scandal over his private phone calls with Russia’s US ambassador.
The storied army general credited with the success of the 2007 Iraq war “surge” has wanted to get back into the action for years after his career was cut short in 2012 by an affair with his biographer.
Petraeus, 64, is a counterinsurgency expert who retired as a four-star general in 2011. He was named by then-president Barack Obama as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
He was forced to resign a year later due to his affair former military officer Paula Broadwell, who wrote his biography.
Petraeus was then prosecuted and convicted on the misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material, for having shared his personal notebooks with Broadwell, giving her access to top-secret material.
He was reportedly considered by President Donald Trump for secretary of state, but ultimately passed over amid concern that history could damage his chances for Senate confirmation.
The celebrated general has remained in the public eye as senior advisor on global issues at the KKR investment group.
The retired army three-star general was named acting national security advisor yesterday after Flynn stepped down, elevated from his post as a executive secretary of the national security council.
Kellogg, 72, had a long career in the US Army, serving in Vietnam and Iraq, retiring in 2003 after which he was led a security consultant to software giant Oracle Corp.
He joined Trump’s presidential campaign as a foreign policy and military affairs advisor in early 2016, and served on Trump’s transition team helping to organise the incoming administration.
Former navy admiral Harward is less of a public figure, but has a possible edge in being close to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Mattis and Flynn were not close.
Harward comes from the Navy SEALs, the tough special warfare units, and commanded SEAL Team 3, which specializes in operations in the Middle East.
He led Special Warfare task groups in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq beginning in 2002. A year later, he was in the White House of President George W. Bush as part of the National Security Council and in 2005 moved to the new National Counterterrorism Center.
In 2009-2011, he was back in Afghanistan running the US prisons there.
After retiring in 2013, he became a representative of defense contractor Lockheed Martin in the United Arab Emirates. — AFP