Failure is not a word in the vocabulary of General James N. Mattis, President-elect Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense. “I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”
At a time when we desperately need to reverse the half-hearted efforts of the Obama Administration to combat radical Islamists (who the President dares not mention by name), rebuild the military, and expunge those enemies of the United States from the planet earth, there is no better person for leading the effort than the heavily decorated, battle-hardened, scholar, tactician, and strategist James Mattis.
Mattis is loved by Marine Corps officers and non-commissioned officers alike. He has been said by many to be a “Marine’s Marine.” He has dedicated his life to serving the United States as a Marine, climbing the ranks from a military career that has spanned over four decades and has embraced direct and material involvement in the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War. He went from serving as Rifle and Weapons Platoon Commander in the Third Marine Division up the ranks to becoming Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command, and, before his retirement, Commander of the United States Central Command.
He holds himself and those who serve under him to a very high standard of performance. He is selfless, a true patriot, a brilliant tactician and warrior, and, most importantly, like Ulysses S. Grant committed to victory and accepting of nothing but victory. He understands deeply the problems confronting American servicemen and Special Forces as they endeavor to destroy the terrorists and their infrastructures. He is well versed in the peculiar tribal customs, doctrines of Islamic radicalism, sources of support, and means of recruitment used by the Western world’s most ardent terrorist enemies, and he is committed to his very core to destroying those enemies. He is a creative, unpredictable, and terrifying foe. He will be America’s best weapon.
President-elect Trump was right to compare him to General George S. Patton, because he has many of the same characteristics that made Patton an extraordinary war fighter. Mattis’s successes in battle have earned him legendary status among Marines.
His bookish nature, constant study of tactics, strategy and military history led his troops to dub him affectionately the “warrier monk.” You can hear the echo of General Patton in many of the famous lines delivered by Mattis to his troops on the eve of battle. “Find the enemy that wants to end [the American] experiment [in Democracy],” said Mattis, “and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.” Like Patton, Mattis is a happy warrior. “Fight with a happy heart,” he is fond of saying.
Mattis will reinvigorate the American military, break down the political barriers preventing achievement of military objectives, and give radical Islamic terrorists no respite, no quarter, no opportunity to regroup, and no future. After the disgrace of Obama’s eight years in office, whereby the United States has lost respect all around the world, General Mattis will restore it not through bravado but through deeds as the troops who love him will finally be given the support they need to defend America’s national interests and as the Trump Administration brings to pass the promise of American exceptionalism.
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