President Donald Trump is preparing to make major changes to U.S. military leadership to reflect an emphasis on stealth operations, including switching out commanders across the Middle East and Europe, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Trump is expected to formally nominate Army Lt. Gen. Richard Clarke, a former officer who played a role in the raid to capture Osama bin Laden, to lead the U.S. Special Operations Command based in Tampa, Fla., in the coming months. He would succeed Army Gen. Tony Thomas, who is retiring next year.
The Special Operations Command oversees the specialized forces of all military branches.
The Journal’s report also said Trump will likely nominate Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters to head the U.S. European Command and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. to lead U.S. Central Command.
McKenzie is expected to succeed Army Gen. Joseph Votel, whose current role is considered the most prominent within the military as he is responsible for all operations in the Middle East.
The report comes a week after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that he would nominate his senior military assistant, Navy Adm. Craig Faller, to take over U.S. Southern Command, a post responsible for Guantanamo Bay.
Mattis is expected to play a significant role in replacing two other top Pentagon roles next year as Marine Gen. Joe Dunford and Air Force Gen. Paul Selvia will retire.
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