US defence secretary James Mattis watches president Donald Trump as he speaks during a meeting with Medal of Honor recipients in the Oval Office on March 24, 2017. Carlos Barria / Reuters
Brian Adam Jones, Task & Purpose: How Mattis Made His Comeback
James Mattis’ ascension from a battle-tested Marine general to President Donald Trump’s widely praised and supported secretary of defense enforces his reputation as a “warrior monk” and illustrates his strategic mind. Since 2010, Mattis has gone from being a deputy unified combatant commander with a cult following among Marines but little public profile, to running U.S. Central Command in the Obama administration during a key time, to being unceremoniously ousted from that role, to resisting calls to launch an independent bid for the White House in the 2016 election, and now, to being one of the most influential and consequential defense secretaries in American history.
It’s been a whirlwind decade for the cerebral, combat-tested Marine. In being confirmed as secretary of defense, Mattis required a congressional waiver because it had been such a short period of time since he retired from the military. Such a waiver had only ever been granted once before — to former Army Gen. George Marshall, one of the United States’ most iconic generals and statesmen.
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WNU Editor: This blog has been following James Mattis for years (go here). His journey has truly been incredible .... and his life story is still ongoing.