We have just learned that President-elect Donald J. Trump will select retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to serve as his Secretary of Defense.
Mattis is a senior military officer who led operations throughout the Middle East and has been retired less than 4 years. In order to assume the job at the Pentagon Congress must pass new legislation to bypass a federal law requiring defense secretaries to be removed from active duty for at least 7 years before taking the job.
Trump is likely to make a formal announcement early next week.
From The Washington Post:
Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command in spring 2013 after serving more than four decades in the Marine Corps. He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University.
Like Trump, Mattis favors a tougher stance against U.S. adversaries abroad, especially Iran. The general, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, said that while security discussions often focus on terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”
Mattis said the next president “is going to inherit a mess” and argued that the nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration last year may slow Iran’s ambitions to get a nuclear weapon but will not stop them.
“In terms of strengthening America’s global standing among European and Mideastern nations alike, the sense is that America has become somewhat irrelevant in the Middle East, and we certainly have the least influence in 40 years,” Mattis said.
Mattis is widely respected with in the military community, and is considered to be a soldier’s soldier who understands the dangers and risks of war. In addition, he believes that America must actually win wars rather than simply appease the enemy, something that President Obama has continued to believe.
General Mattis is just the man America needs to lead our military in the world. Trump and Mattis share the same vision for America’s military and he will be a breath of fresh air for this country.
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