Trump Appoints Gen. Mattis as Defense Secretary

This has been rumored for a while, but still: Donald Trump continues his winning streak with the appointment of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense:

Mattis, 66, is a Marine Corps general who retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.

His selection raises questions about increased military influence in a job designed to insure civilian control of the armed forces. The concerns revolve around whether a recently retired service member would rely more on military solutions to international problems, rather than a broader, more diplomatic approach.

God, we can only hope so. After all, Gen. Mattis will be Secretary of Defense, not Secretary of State.

Mattis has a reputation as a battle-hardened, tough-talking Marine who was entrusted with some of the most challenging commands in the U.S. military. In a tweet Sunday, Trump referred to Mattis by his nickname “Mad Dog” and described him as “A true General’s General!”

Nothing to like here…

Although his record in combat and his credentials as a senior commander are widely admired, Mattis has little experience in the diplomatic aspects of the job of a secretary of defense.

Since when is the Secretary of Defense supposed to be a diplomat? Seriously, this is a new one on me. The Secretary of Defense runs America’s armed forces, which are called into action when diplomacy has failed and it is time to kick enemy a**. Has this basic concept somehow been forgotten?

Gen. Mattis is the kind of guy who should give our enemies pause:

In 2005, he raised eyebrows when he told a San Diego forum that it was “fun to shoot some people.”

According to a recording of Mattis’ remarks, he said, “Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot. … It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up front with you, I like brawling.”

He added, “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” Mattis continued. “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.”

Mattis was counselled to choose his words more carefully.

As far as I am concerned, those comments are just fine. It appears that Donald Trump feels the same way. So it’s another excellent appointment by Trump, as he builds what is shaping up as a very formidable administration.

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