There is no doubt that our nation is in the midst of a serious dual-crisis — a life-threatening pandemic and a potentially crippling business shutdown which could lead to a depression. When faced with a stressful crisis, what is needed is an effective crisis manager. Where is such a manager?
The president has supremely qualified medical advisers who know little about economics, and experienced economic advisers who have no background in biology. Crisis management cannot be learned by reading a book, taking a class or watching a video. Only through real experience can one develop an ability to remain calm and act rationally when confronted with the pressure of a powerful crisis.
The most effective arena in which to gain crisis management experience is through military service, especially if one has combat experience. There once were three members of the Trump administration who had the qualifications to manage this crisis.
Lt. General H.R. McMaster was National Security Adviser, General John Kelly was the president’s Chief of Staff, and General Jim Mattis was Secretary of Defense. Any one of these men, if in place right now, could lead the effort with clear thinking rather than political calculations.
All three of these giants have been replaced with folks far less qualified, whose only recommendation was a perceived loyalty to the president. It is unlikely that any of the three generals can be recalled to the White House, so is there a similar flag officer who could be the needed crisis manager? I nominate Admiral Mike Mullen, retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As chairman and as a civilian Mullen displayed great calm and clear communication skills under great stress.
He should be appointed and be given complete authority to hack through the nonsense and allow our nation to overcome the dual-crisis. Some may ask why President Trump cannot be allowed to manage the crisis? His business history reveals that the president’s strategy for dealing with a crisis is to declare bankruptcy and walk away (see Trump University and Trump Airlines).