Trump To Mattis: You Can’t Quit. You’re Fired.

 

In 2016, Donald Trump called James Mattis a “true general’s general.” Now it seems that the two can’t part company fast enough. Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Mattis submitted his resignation with an effective date of Feb. 28, 2019. Apparently, that wasn’t soon enough for the president who announced that Mattis would be leaving at the end of the year.

In a tweet this morning, President Trump said, “I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, &amp; previously Boeing. He will be great!</p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href=”https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1076881816462737408?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>December 23, 2018</a></blockquote>
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Patrick Shanahan is a native of Washington State who has been in the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense since his confirmation on June 20, 2017. Prior to joining the government, he was an executive at the Boeing company where he had worked since 1986. Shanahan has never served in the military but worked on several defense-related programs as vice president of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

Last Thursday, Secretary Mattis submitted his resignation letter in response to President Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw American soldiers from Syria where they had been deployed to fight ISIS. Trump’s move leaves the Kurds, American allies in the fight against ISIS, to the tender mercies of their ancestral enemies, the Turks and the Arabs.

Mr. Mattis’ resignation letter singled out the abandonment of America’s allies in the region as a reason for his departure. “We cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies,” Mattis wrote to the president. “Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis added.

President Trump places a high priority on loyalty from his subordinates – if not to his allies – and this open criticism from his “general’s general” seems to have been too close to the mark for the president to keep working with the Gen. Mattis for another two months. In addition to being already confirmed by Congress and therefore eligible to move into the Defense Secretary slot under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Shanahan also has not publicly criticized the president.

In contrast, Mattis, along with Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was rumored to have banded together to rein in the president and protect the country from Trump’s most destructive tendencies. As 2019 begins, all three of those experienced, senior advisors will be absent.

Mattis Calls Another Korean War ‘Catastrophic’, Norks Respond With Missile Test

Secretary of Defense James Mattis used the correct term for any all-out war with North Korea. Speaking on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Mattis said, “A conflict in North Korea, John, would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”

Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.

We are working with the international community to deal with this issue. This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well. But the bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.

Later Sunday, North Korea lobbed a SCUD missile into Japanese territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.

What’s interesting here is how President Trump’s cabinet is sending mixed signals to the Norks, and in fact Trump himself is swinging like a pendulum. At least this time Trump didn’t undercut his own cabinet–he stayed consistent with Mattis’ statement.

Just last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared “all options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table.” The cabinet member responsible for diplomacy is hinting at military action, and the nation’s top military strategist–himself a “warrior monk”–is pleading for diplomacy. Add that to the clown show at DoD over the position of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, and who should the Norks believe?

But for once, the Kim regime is keeping its word. On April 18, Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol said the North will “be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.” And so they have. They seem to be asking, “what are you going to do about it?”

Mattis, though he led with the “international community” solution, later indicated that the U.S. may be holding some very high cards in our range of potential responses.

JOHN DICKERSON: You say North Korea is a threat to the region. Is North Korea a threat to the United States?

SECRETARY JAMES MATTIS: It is a direct threat to the United States. They have been very clear in their rhetoric we don’t have to wait until they have an intercont- intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear weapon on it to say that now it’s manifested completely.

JOHN DICKERSON: What is the line in North Korea that if the regime crosses that line, in your view, the U.S. should take action?

SECRETARY JAMES MATTIS: Yeah, I’d prefer not to answer that question, John. The president needs political maneuver room on this issue. We– we do not draw red lines unless we intend to carry them out. We’ve made very clear that we’re willing to work with China and we believe China has tried to be helpful in this regard.

JOHN DICKERSON: Give me a sense, if you can, of the time when you think North Korea could get to the point of no return.

SECRETARY JAMES MATTIS: We consider it a direct threat even today, the North Korean threat. As far as that specific threat, I don’t want to put a timeline on it. At this time, what we know, I’d prefer to keep silent about because we may actually know some things the North Koreans don’t even know.

North Korea is the biggest threat we have. ISIS can cause terror, and take lives. Iran can threaten Israel. Russia can be the world’s dezinformatsiya troll.  But only North Korea can, and is perfectly willing to, incinerate or poison the better part of 11 million people in Seoul, the densest populated city on earth. We will have to deal with stopping them before they add nuclear-tipped ICBMs to their repertoire of death.

BREAKING: “Mad Dog” Mattis Confirmed As Secretary Of Defense

BREAKING NEWS:

General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a retired USMC General, has been confirmed by the United States Senate as President Donald J. Trump’s Secretary of Defense.

Donald Trump’s first act as President was to sign a waiver  passed by Congress that allowed General Mattis to be confirmed by a simple majority vote of the Senate, since he does not meet the requirement that the position be held by someone that has not actively served in the military in the last 7 years.

Secretary Mattis has previously commanded the United States Joint Forces Command, and has served as the Supreme Allied Commander of Transformation for NATO. Before that, he held a number of command positions in the U.S. Marines.

The nickname “Mad Dog” was earned by Secretary Mattis after leading troops into combat in the Persian Gulf War of 1991. He is known for his no-nonsense, politically incorrect quotes and approach to leadership.

Congratulations, Secretary Mattis.

The 3 Most Awesome General James Mattis Quotes

Not since Donald Rumsfeld have we had such a quotable Secretary of Defense nominee. Here are his top three greatest quotes.

1. “When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she’s dating a p**sy”

2. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

3. “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

and as a bonus

4. “There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.”

James “Mad Dog” Mattis Explains Why You Must Read

A great many TV pundits, etc. of late have bragged about how unread they are. Others have bragged about reading their gender studies and diversity books while bailing on the Western classics.

I remember not too long ago reading about a much praised liberal who wrote a much praised book that no one actually read, but claimed to read, who himself said he did not know who Augustine was.

People like that are always encountering new ideas and wrestling with those ideas when the ideas turn out to be old and already resolved.

Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defense nominee, General James Mattis, was asked about reading before he headed into Iraq in 2004.

He responded, in part,:

We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures]? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher [Headquarters] can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?

You really should read his whole response.

Maybe Tomi Lahren will take note of it.

Mattis As SecDef Is a Shot Across Iran’s Bow And a Needed Shot in the Military’s Arm

President-elect Donald Trump confirmed reports (at a rally in Cincinnati) that he will nominate retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his secretary of defense.

“We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump told a rally in Cincinnati, the first stop on a post-election “thank-you tour.”

“Mad Dog” is only one of the general’s nicknames. “Chaos” and “Warrior Monk” are two others; the “monk” part is due to his bachelor status.

Mattis is well known in Congress and should face an easy confirmation by the Senate, the Military Times reported. Congress will also need to pass an exemption to the law barring officers who have been on active duty in the last seven years from serving as SecDef. Only one other such exemption has been granted: to Gen. George C. Marshall.

The retired general is a no-nonsense hawk, especially regarding Iran, which put him completely at odds with the Obama administration.

Imagine if President Truman had made Gen. Douglas MacArthur his secretary of defense instead of James Forrestal, Louis Johnson and Marshall. The Russians and Chinese would have taken that as a sign of inevitability. This is precisely what Mattis means to Iran, and they should indeed worry.

An intellectual, Mattis authored a report as a national security fellow for the Hoover Institution last August.

“If the world feels more dangerous to you, it should,” the report states. “We are seeing the results of 20 years of the United States operating unguided by strategy. We have been slow to identify emergent threats and unwilling to prioritize competing interests; we have sent confounding messages to enemies and allies alike. Our country urgently needs to up our game, make common cause with countries that are willing to help repair and sustain the international order that has served the United States and our allies so well.”

Mattis is also very concerned with the widening disconnect between the civilian population and the military culture. He is co-author of a book titled “Warriors & Citizens” on the topic.

His research found that one in three Americans have little or no familiarity with the military, and half of Americans cannot recall socializing with a service member or military spouse within the last year. This may point to at least one of his priorities as defense secretary: bridging the so-called civil-military divide.

“There are many people who do not know if the U.S. Army has 60,000 men or 6 million,” Mattis told Military Times when the book was published in September. “They do not have a clue about that.

“America is quite right to be proud of their military, but at the same time there has got to be a sense of common purpose between these two elements. If, in fact, this gap grows and we lose the sense of common purpose, then I think we have a problem.”

It’s likely that the Marine will oppose much of (or all of) the social engineering and “progress” the Obama administration has championed over the past eight years. He might be more focused on making the public more aware of military order and discipline, the concepts of honor, mission and purpose, than making the military more like the anything-goes civilian culture it defends.

That’s perfectly fine with me. The military exists for a purpose, and that purpose is not to reflect the mainstream culture of civilian America. That purpose is to defend America against her enemies, find the enemy, kill the enemy, and destroy the enemy’s ability and will to fight. Anything else is subservient to those goals.

His colleagues sing his praises.

“The president-elect is smart to think about putting someone as respected as Jim Mattis in this role,” said a former senior Pentagon official. “He’s a warrior, scholar and straight shooter — literally and figuratively. He speaks truth to everyone and would certainly speak truth to this new commander in chief.”

Mattis has the clear head, straight talk, and the warrior’s demeanor to get that done: squared away, as the Marines say.

Democrat Senator Opposes Giving Mad Dog Mattis a Waiver

Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand opposes giving General James Mattis a waiver to become Secretary of Defense. Gillibrand, who is a liberal who loves the Iran deal, hates that Trump nominated a Secretary of Defense who actually wants to keep the country safe from radical Islam.

Because Mattis has not been retired from the military for seven years, he will need a waiver from both houses of congress. The nation maintains the rule of civilian control of the military and makes it difficult for career soldiers to become SecDef. The only soldier to get a waiver was George Marshall, author of the Marshall plan, after Harry Truman nominated him.

With ISIS on the march, China and Russia saber rattling, and Iran talking about expanding its nuclear program, Mattis makes a great deal of sense for SecDef. That is exactly while Gillibrand and other Democrats will talk about their respect for him, but try their best to block him.