Mad Dog Mattis: Iraq was probably a “mistake”

061205-N-1328C-343 - Douda, Djibouti (December 5, 2006) - (Right). U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Commander, Lt. Gen. James Mattis visits with local officials from Douda, Djibouti, during Djibouti, home of the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa command. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is a unit of United States Central Command. The organization's mission is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect Coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism. More than 1,500 people from each branch of the U.S. military, civilian employees, Coalition forces and Partner nations make up the organization. The area of responsibility for CJTF-HOA includes the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. USN Photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Eric A. Clement (RELEASED)

This is encouraging. He sounds reasonable. (This does not surprise me.) His job was to do what the President said. The military is part of the Executive Branch. The President is the Commander in Chief. But this snippet of candor recorded at a 2015 conference sheds a little light on the man and it is welcome. Especially as he will likely be our new Secretary of Defense.

(From The Intercept)

Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense called the 2003 invasion of Iraq a “mistake,” according to a recording obtained by The Intercept.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mattis said, “we will probably look back on the invasion of Iraq as a mistake — as a strategic mistake.”…

…As for the Pentagon’s view on the Iraq invasion at the time, Mattis said this: “I think people were pretty much aware that the U.S. military didn’t think it was a very wise idea. But we give a cheery ‘Aye aye, sir.’ Because when you elect someone commander in chief — we give our advice. We generally give it in private.”

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