Gen (Ret.) James “Mad Dog” Mattis will be the new secretary of defense. The Senate Armed Services Committee brought this decision on Wednesday.
The decision was brought with 26 to 1, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. was the only one to express concerns about the civilian control of US military.
Mattis now faces the full senate vote before he gets the top Pentagon job.
The retired Marine Corps general will get the vote, because Republicans control the Senate. The waiver is here, too. Without it, current law says that military officers have to wait 7 years before they get the chance to become a secretary of defense. Mattis retired in 2013.
World War II hero General George C. Marshall was the last officer to get this exemption. He got the job less than five years after he was chief of staff in the Army.
During the confirmation hearing, Mattis, 66, talked to Donald Trump about the issue with Russia and Iran.
“I think right now, the most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with in Mr. Putin and we recognize that he is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance and we take the integrated steps — diplomatic, economic, military and the alliance steps, working with our allies — to defend ourselves where we must,” Mattis explained.
Mattis agreed with Trump in the aspect that America needs to improve its relation with Russia and Putin. However, that’s “a shrinking universe.”
“I’m all for engagement, but we also have to recognize reality and what Russia is up to,” Mattis noted. “There is a decreasing number of areas where we can engage cooperatively and an increasing number of areas where we’re going to have to confront Russia.”
The same applies to the Iran matter.
“I think this is an imperfect arms control agreement–it’s not a friendship treaty,” Mattis said. “But when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.”
According to Trump, the deal is “horrible,” a “disaster” and the “worst ever negotiated.”
Here’s what Trump tweeted on Friday:
All of my Cabinet nominee are looking good and doing a great job. I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
Is Mattis the right person for this position?
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