Who is James Mattis?
Trump’s inauguration was a day of controversy, exposing a profound split between the common people. That same day, Ret. General James Mattis was appointed Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Ret. General Mattis’s appointment was widely applauded from both sides of the political spectrum. He is well recognized, even outside of the military, as a leader. Also, he is the owner of many gritty comments. Within the military, specifically the Marine Corps, he is a legend, even earning the title “Warrior Monk” for his views. His goal was to not just to train the Marine’s body for war, but to educate his mind for conflict.
Mattis takes to heart the education, motivation, and toughness of the Marine Corps. He was an active member of the Corps for 44 years, until retiring in 2013. He is an educated man with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in History from Central Washington University. SECDEF Mattis has seen three theaters of war, gathering a plethora of experience under his belt. Today, he has adopted the title of SECDEF to once again fulfill the duty of protecting this nation from all enemies foreign and domestic.
“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.” – James Mattis.
First Days as SECDEF
The day after Trump’s inauguration, the newly appointed SECDEF ordered 31 airstrikes on multiple Islamic State (IS) militant operators in both Iraq and Syria. Multiple vehicles, ISIS-held buildings, artillery, oil wells, and mortar positions were destroyed by the strikes. The attack was seen as a definite success for NATO forces and its allies.
Since then, Mattis already announced a trip this week to Asia to discuss the importance of maintaining high allied strength with Japan and South Korea. President Trump believes these allies should be pulling more weight.
“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.” – James Mattis
What could we possibly see out of SECDEF Mattis in the future?
The main threat perceived by both Trump and Mattis to the United States is Islamic Extremists. With that in mind, their is no doubt we will see more action taken to assault the extremists whenever possible. Although differing from President Trump’s views, SECDEF Mattis has already claimed Iran to be the underlining culprit of the unrest in the middle east and could be working with IS forces.
Mattis has already noted that “boots on the ground” should be an option when fighting ISIS, although this does not mean necessarily a full-scale invasion of either the failed state of Syria or Iraq. Mattis is probably referring to the full array of Tier 1 Special Forces he now has in his metaphorical toolbox. With these tools, fast “in and out” type operations may be conducted with small manned teams on the ground within ISIS territories. However, this is just a theory to his “boots on the ground” proposal.
Mattis’s Foreign Policy
SECDEF Mattis doesn’t share Trump’s apparent fondness for Russia. In 2015, he stated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intent is “to break NATO apart.” Mattis also criticized the Russian President for actions taken in what used to be Russian Satellite countries, including Ukraine and the Baltic States. Furthermore, he’s questioned in the Russian-backed Syrian Assad Regime. They are known for using chemical weapons against its own people.
Throughout SECDEF Mattis’s military career he has pushed for the strengthening of NATO. Mattis also stands for the strengthening of our allies. He believes our allies are instrumental in the protection of our own country, and disregarding our allies as a legitimate resource could spell a perilous fate for the United States.
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” – James Mattis