President-elect Donald Trump has officially nominated retired Marine Corps General James ‘Mad-Dog’ Mattis for the position of secretary of defense. The news has been uniformly celebrated by conservatives. How is the Mattis nomination sitting with those on the left?
[Scroll Down for Video]
That question was put to one of Obama’s own advisors last week at the Reagan National Defense Forum. At a press conference on Saturday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford was asked if he was concerned about Mattis becoming Secretary of Defense.
His response was swift, direct, and absolutely free of spin. “No,” Chairman Dunford responded. That was it. The immediate response was met with a moment of awkward silence as everyone in the room expected Chairman Dunford to elaborate on his position. He didn’t.
As the silence stretched out, he gave a wry smile that told everyone in the room that he had answered the question, and then a peel of laughter spread around the room.
Trump’s choice of Mattis is popular with those who are looking for a serious and intellectual leader who will take a stand against the external threats facing our nation. Mattis, known as “The Warrior Monk,” is seen as a fierce fighter. Add to this his unending study of warfare, tactics, and tacticians and you can see why he might be a good compliment for President-elect Trump.
In an interview with The Independent Journal, Ken O’Brien Breiter characterized Mattis as a Marine’s Marine:
“I remember one particular time about 4 years ago, General Mattis called me from Afghanistan around the holidays. I asked him if he was coming home for Christmas. He replied…’HELL NO, If My Marines are still here fighting and unable to go home then I sure as hell am not leaving them behind.’”
As General Mattis is widely supported, it seems there’s only one thing standing in the way of his appointment . U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 2, § 113 precludes recently retired service men and women from becoming the Secretary of Defense. After a period of 7 years, they become eligible. The U.S. House of Representatives will have to waive that restriction.
There is irony in Mattis’s appointment. General Mattis was removed by President Obama who thought General Mattis wasn’t capable of dealing with civilians.