Newsweek's Foreign Service Podcast: Donald Trump's Tough Guys in Defense

Donald Trump's generals podcast
Donald Trump has named two former generals in his cabinet—how will their controversial opinions affect policy? Jordan Saville

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Donald Trump spent much of his campaign railing against the U.S. establishment, but he often had a good word to say about the country's generals—one of his main attack lines about Barack Obama was that the current president had supposedly reduced his military commanders to "rubble."

So perhaps it shouldn't surprise us that the president-elect has now appointed two retired generals—Michael Flynn and James Mattis—to his transition defense team, as national security adviser and defense secretary, respectively. But it might bring cause for concern. Both men served distinguished careers. But both have strong views on Iran, Russia and other controversial foreign policy topics. And giving military figures so much power could make some voters uneasy.

In this episode, Josh Lowe talks to Heather Williams, a lecturer at the defense studies department at Kings College London, and Matthew Harries, research fellow for transatlantic affairs at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, about just who these two men are, and how their appointment is likely to change the politics and foreign policy of the U.S.

Newsweek's Foreign Service is recorded and edited by Jordan Saville.