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January 21, 2013

White House Forcing Out Celebrated Marine General Mattis from CENTCOM


Nathaniel Botwinick reports at The Corner that according to Tom Ricks at Foreign Policy, the Obama administration is pushing out celebrated Marine General Mattis from CENTCOM early because of internal battles over the White House's Middle East strategy:

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way -- not because he went all "mad dog," which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, "And then what?"

National Security Adviser Tom Donilon in particular was irked by Mattis's insistence on being heard. I cringe when I hear about civilians shutting down strategic discussions.

The Mattis-Donilon disagreements weren't just about Iran. Other issues on which Mattis was pushing the White House to think deeper and harder, I am told, were "Afghanistan, concerns about Pakistani stability, [and] response to the Arab spring."

It's downright scary and an ill omen for the country if the Obama administration is set on eliminating our best and brightest leaders from the military for wanting it to think-through second- and third-order consequences of its policies and agenda (if that is indeed the reason for Mattis' departure ... and at this point that's a big 'if'). It's irresponsible not to do what every military leader is suppose to do before every military action and what most successful businesses do when embarking on new business activities.

On the other hand, our system of government provides for civilian control of the armed forces, and Obama has the right to rid himself of pesky generals that don't agree with him. Although it's generally smart to listen to general officers, they have no right to remain in their positions if the president wants them removed.

And on yet another hand, Mattis is obviously a racist ... after all, he apparently disagrees with Obama and we all know that makes him a racist, right?

Posted by Hyscience at January 21, 2013 1:12 PM

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