Trump Picks Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg for National Security Council Post


President-Elect Donald Trump has named Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as the chief of staff and executive secretary of his National Security Council (NSC), furthering his campaign promise of a much more skeptical view of Islamic ideology.

A Vietnam veteran who advanced to command the 82nd Airborne Division, Kellogg has served as a national security adviser for Trump’s presidential campaign. In addition, he was  the vice president of strategic initiatives at Cubic Corp. The general also served as the chief operations officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003.

Kellogg is set to be one of the president-elect’s important national security advisers and will serve under retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who Trump appointed as his top national security advisor on December 17.


In a sharp break from the policy set by President Barack Obama, both Kellogg and Flynn view jihad-Islam, and Iran’s Islamic government, as enemies of the United States. In an October article, they wrote:

There is no difference between the ideology of ISIS and the Iranian regime, except ISIS is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. They both have goals of establishing an Islamic global caliphate using military force.

Iran is directly responsible for killing at least 500 American troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and wounding hundreds more. Iran manufactured and supplied Shiite militias in Iraq with highly lethal bombs known as explosively formed penetrators or EFPs, which were powerful enough to destroy U.S. Humvees and breach tank hulls.

Yet today, the Obama administration is partnering with those very same radical Islamic leaders and militias that took so many American lives.

“The United States is an exceptional country and these are two exceptional individuals who have agreed to fulfill the president-elect’s pledge of putting America first once again,” Mike Flynn, Trump’s choice for national security advisor, said in a statement released by the transition office. “I am honored to have General Kellogg and Dr. Crowley on the National Security Council team.”

For his part, Kellogg said he is looking forward to serving in the upcoming administration. “I am honored to not only be a part of this historic administration but also to be serving with General Flynn and K.T. McFarland, who are widely respected as some of the most experienced and strategic national security minds,” Kellogg said in the statement. “Together, with the incredibly talented Dr. [Monica] Crowley, the NSC will help lead President-elect Trump’s national security agenda.”

The advancement of Kellogg brings the number of generals in Trump’s proposed administration to four.

Kellogg will join three other retired generals including Marine Gen. John Kelly, who is set to head up Homeland Security, with Marine Gen. James Mattis, up for Defense Secretary, plus Flynn.

The Thursday, Dec. 15 announcement was accompanied by the appointment of Monica Crowley as the NSC’s senior director of strategic communications.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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