Since being elected President of the United States, President Obama has all-but ignored the advice his top U.S. generals have given him over the years regarding Iraq and Afghanistan.
A 2014 Washington Post story outlines just how Obama “repeatedly rejected” the advice of top military brass, including that of Gen. Lloyd Austin, who was the top commander of the U.S. military in the Middle East.
Now President-elect Donald Trump is looking like he will make good with his campaign promise of “listening to the generals” before making any military decisions.
During the kick-off of this “Thank You” tour in Cincinnati, Indiana, Trump said that his pick of Secretary of Defense would be “one of our great, great generals,” Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
“They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have…And it’s about time. It’s about time.”-President-elect Donald Trump
Trump’s pick of Defense Secretary got the thumbs up from one of his most outspoken election year critics, Republican Senator John McCain.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 2, 2016
Here is more about the tough-talking Mattis you may not have known:
But Mattis hasn’t been immune to controversy. At a 2005 forum in San Diego, he told his audience that “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.”
“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.”
A native of Pullman, Wash., Mattis enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969, later earning a history degree from Central Washington University. He was commissioned as an officer in 1972. As a lieutenant colonel, Mattis led an assault battalion into Kuwait during the first U.S. war with Iraq in 1991.
As head of the Central Command from 2010 until his retirement in 2013, he was in charge of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mattis commanded the Marines who launched an early amphibious assault into Afghanistan and established a U.S. foothold in the Taliban heartland.
As the first wave of Marines moved toward Kandahar, Mattis declared that, “The Marines have landed, and now we own a piece of Afghanistan.”
Two years later, he helped lead the invasion into Iraq in 2003 as the two-star commander of the 1st Marine Division.
The rest of the rally at Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena was a return to Trump’s campaign roots. He took a veiled swipe at fellow Republicans. He remembered his general election foe by joking, “We had fun fighting Hillary, didn’t we?” He boasted about size of his victory and repeatedly bashed the media. Protesters briefly interrupted the proceedings. And the crowd chanted “Build the Wall” and “Lock Her Up.”
Trump did nothing to downplay expectations before he takes office, declaring that “America will start winning again, big league.” Much like he did during the stretch run of the campaign, he read from teleprompters, but he was bombastic as ever, spending more than a dozen minutes bragging about his victory before outlining his economic plan.
He boasted about his wins in Midwest states that normally vote Democratic, declaring he didn’t just “break the blue wall, we shattered it.” He veered off-script to make fun of a protester, saying she was being ejected from the arena so “she could go back to Mommy.” He repeated his recent threat that, despite Constitutional protections, “if people burn the American flag, there should be consequences.” And he repeated many of his signature campaign promises, including a pledge to “construct a great wall at the border.”-Fox News