Gen’l. James Mattis
US Marine, Master of Arts
Here is a novel idea. Why not appoint a military general, who as dedicated his entire life to war and military logistics, to the office of Secretary of Defense? After decades and decades of losing wars with defense secretaries who were investment bankers, lawyers and business leaders, it took a New York real estate developer, businessman and celebrity to figure out that a general was probably the best man for the job. When leaving the office of the president, US General Sir Dwight Eisenhower (from Texas) remarked that he didn’t see how any man who was not a general could hold the office of the president after World War II. The military had grown too large and affected too much of society. He knew when a general was being honest and when one was playing politics or looking for a handout. Former president of Israel, Ariel Sharon, himself a former general, also once said, “I was a general” and that, “all generals are liars. They lie to themselves and they lie to politicians”. Seeing as it’s political suicide to speak out against a general in America, I think putting Gen’l. Mattis in charge of all of the military and all of its civilian departments was a wise decision. Like all other appointees, no one in the Pentagon will be able to pull the wool over the eyes of old “Mad Dog”.
Generals by in large hate defense contractors. Those that make their opinion clear that fancy equipment and new contracts are worthless are promptly retired to civilian life at the rank of colonel or brigadier general (the latter being a heartily pointless and powerless rank in the 21st Century). Defense secretaries are expected to manage plans for budgets, growth, reduction, contracts, new weaponry and where we should strike next to get the most bang for our buck with as few a casualties as possible. They push marketing slogans, like “War on Terror” to sell a war and scare the public. They’re encouraged to allow diversity, like bringing in thousands of women to pull on trousers and climb through the mud, carry less load, do less exercise and eventually go to war where they face the inevitability of being overpowered and raped by foreign enemy-male combatants when captured. The Department of Defense is not a corporation. It needs a general who knows what’s what and what works to run it. Unfortunately, it’s difficult today to find many generals who have succeeded on the battlefield and who are politically-savvy enough to make it up the ranks to the top position.
Gen’l Mattis is a true soldier; and by “soldier”, I mean marine. The Marine Corps is our best conventional arm of the military today and harkens to our sea-dominating history. Why, five of the seven uniformed services in the US are nautical in character. And the army, which isn’t one of the five, still has an enormous fleet of ships. Gen’l. Mattis’ father, a seaman of the merchant marine, gave him his humble beginning. Along with Capt. Jeff Sessions, Gen’l. Mattis is among the least rich and yet the most-educated of the top cabinet leaders. By 2004, he led one of the only three successful US campaigns in the late war over Mesopotamia. And for that, his detractors call him bloodthirsty or a bigot. Luckily his Senate confirmation flew through faster than any others. I attribute this to the fact that Democrats are scared to death of generals. They don’t know what they do and so they listen to and believe everything they say. Democrats aren’t like Republican politicians, who themselves believe they are generals. Now I think the general will not take any garbage from any of his joint chiefs or his overseas commanders. He will end the superfluous defense contracts and cut the waste that so many talented colonels and lieutenant colonels want to see disappear. He will know operations that will and will not work well. And this will help the administration in growing the role of the conventional military in the roles of intelligence and national security.