Friday, December 21, 2018

Mattis out

A few off-the-cuff impressions about the resignation of Gen. Mattis:

i) I recall reading somewhere, a while back, that initially, Mattis was a very influential advisor to Trump, but after Make Pompeo became Secretary of State and John Bolton came on board, Mattis lost influence. When you go from winning the arguments to losing the arguments, that's a time to exit. 

ii) As I recall, when Trump moved to rescind Obama's policy on transgender soldiers, Mattis tried to kill the ban by having the Pentagon conduct a six-month review. If that's true, then in that respect I'm not sorry to see Mattis leave. 

iii) In addition, I believe Mattis supported Obama's treasonous Iran deal. That's another reason not to regret his departure. 

iii) We don't know who Trump will nominate, and we don't know how well Trump will get along with his replacement. So I don't know what this means for US foreign policy. 

iv) The establishment is upset because they think Trump needs to be contained. Mattis seems like a honorable man, and he did an impressive job in cutting ISIS down to size, but his policy positions were uneven. 


  1. It seems to me (maybe I'm mistaken) Mattis tends to value alliance or partnership with "moderate" Mideast nations which would include a nation like Saudi Arabia (in his view).

    By contrast, Trump doesn't seem to. I don't know which is the more prudent position in general. I guess it depends on the situation. Not sure about in the context of Syria and ISIS.

  2. I'm curious what your take on Bolton is. He's been said to be quite hawkish, do you think he's a good fit for the administration?