Citing personal reasons related to the recent death of his wife, retired General Jack Keane has revealed he turned down an offer from President-elect Donald Trump to serve as secretary of defense.
Keane’s wife, Theresa, passed away earlier this year after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
“I was asked to serve, but I’m not able to. I have some personal issues surrounding the death of my wife recently, and I explained all that to Mr. Trump, and he was very gracious and understanding, and quite supportive,” Keane said.
Following his meetings with Trump, Keane told NPR’s Rachel Martin the New York businessman inquired of Keane who could best serve as defense secretary. Keane responded either retired Marine Corps General James Mattis or former CIA Director, General David Petraeus, could best fulfill the role.
Keane, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, served for 37 years. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Keane held commands with the 10th Mountain Division, the 101st Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps.
Following his retirement in 2003, Keane held several positions on advisory boards and co-wrote a research paper entitled “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq”. The outline served as the basis for President Bush’s 2007 “surge” to Iraq, where an additional 21,000 troops were deployed to secure and protect critical areas around Baghdad and al-Anbar, Iraq.
Keane has also been featured as an occasional contributor with Fox News on military and national-security issues and is a lobbyist with AM General, an Indiana-based firm which develops and manufactures heavy military vehicles.
[NPR] [Photo courtesy Fox News Radio]