Domenica, 04 Dicembre, 2016

Donald Trump to nominate Gen. James Mattis to lead Pentagon

Marines pose with General James Mattis Commanding General CENTCOM at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan on Sunday The Latest: Trump to meet Dem Sen. Heitkamp of North Dakota
Rufina Vignone | 02 Dicembre, 2016, 12:19

Donald Trump chose retired Marine Gen.James "Mad Dog" Mattis as his secretary of defense, the president-elect announced Thursday at his first post-election rally.

Trump announced his decision at a so-called victory rally in OH, joking about an earlier leaked report that disclosed the decision by telling supporters to "keep it inside the room". He told the thousands gathered at US Bank Arena downtown to "keep it inside".

Trump has described Mattis as 'a true general's general'.

His selection raises questions about increased military influence in a job created to insure civilian control of the armed forces.

The last time Congress granted such an exemption was in 1950, when Gen. George C. Marshall was tapped to lead the Pentagon, the Washington Post reported. Marshall was a much different figure, having previously served as US secretary of state and playing a key role in creating closer ties with western Europe after World War II.

Sciutto asked Schiff about the legal requirement that a military officer must be retired for at least seven years before becoming secretary of defense.

"I was very impressed by that answer", Trump told the New York Times in a marked U-turn from his campaign mantra: "Torture works, OK?"

"We want to crush the enemy's hope to win through violence", Mattis said.

But Mattis hasn't been immune to controversy.

There is also concern about some of his other activities, including serving on the board of troubled biotech firm Theranos.

Mattis will have a vital role in USA relations with Iran, after having openly opposed the agreement to limit Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for relaxing sanctions struck by Washington and the other members of the UN Security Council. He was commissioned as an officer in 1972.

In March 2003, the same month USA forces invaded Iraq, Mattis wrote a letter to everyone under his command, encouraging them to think before firing their weapons - and to "Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit".

Mattis left the Pentagon less than four years ago after heading the U.S.'s Middle East command, commonly referred to as Centcom. He served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

From 2010 to 2013, Mattis was the commander of U.S. Central Command, overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - a post in which he was Petraeus' successor. He has backed up the nickname with off-color remarks, such as his 2005 declaration in a panel discussion about the Taliban that "it's fun to shoot people".

"Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling".

"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look at him in the eyes and shake his hand".

Mattis was counselled to choose his words more carefully.

Mattis gave his Marines this piece of advice while in Iraq.

The Iraqis, who included unarmed women and children, were killed by Marines in the town of Haditha after one of their comrades was killed by a roadside bomb.

As commander of the accused Marines' parent unit, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Mattis ultimately dismissed charges against most of the Marines.

The retired four-star general is known for being a blunt military strategist and is expected to be tough on Iran.

Called "Mad Dog" and "The Warrior Monk", Mattis lugged 6,000 books with him to Iraq in 2004 and was "known to carry books on Roman philosophy with him on every combat mission", according to an NPR report.

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