I used to like Mattis

| November 25, 2020

Then I saw this headline from Military.com;

Mattis Calls on Biden to Scrap ‘America First’ Policy, Slow Pullout from Afghanistan

Da fuq? American First should be every Americans’ agenda. It wasn’t until after WWII that we even considered world affairs our business. Many, if not most, Americans supported isolationism until after the war when we became the UN/world police. Now it’s like we have some obligation to the world to sacrifice of ourselves for them, even when they don’t want nor ask for our help.

I’ve never understood why people here in the US take such an issue with Trump saying American should come first. He’s the President of the United States. If the head of state for the country isn’t putting his country first, then he’s not much of a leader. All of our former, current, and future adversaries put themselves first religiously and without apology.

From the article;

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has broken his silence on the election with a public call to President-elect Joe Biden to alter the course of current defense policy.

Alongside three co-authors, Mattis published a piece in Foreign Affairs on Monday warning against abrupt departure from Afghanistan and calling for the elimination of “America First” as a tenet of defense strategy.

“To dismiss U.S. involvement today in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere as ‘endless’ or ‘forever’ wars — as both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden do — rather than as support to friendly governments struggling to exert control over their own territory misses the point,” Mattis and his co-authors wrote. “It is in the United States’ interests to build the capacity of such governments to deal with the threats that concern Americans.”

As defense secretary, Mattis was the main architect of the National Defense Strategy, which directed the military to prepare for potential conflict with Russia and China. But Mattis and the others urged Biden and his new national security team to give the NDS a major rewrite and soften the confrontational tone.

“In January, when President Joe Biden and his national security team begin to reevaluate U.S. foreign policy, we hope they will quickly revise the national security strategy to eliminate ‘America first’ from its contents, restoring in its place the commitment to cooperative security that has served the United States so well for decades,” the authors wrote.

Afghanistan is our country’s longest war by a large margin. With no clear indication of what victory looks like, there’s zero end in sight. By any objective measure, Afghanistan is an endless war.

If it’s support for A-stan that they want, we’re still leaving behind at least 2,500 Americans to assist the locals under Trump’s pull out strategy.

I’m 100% in favor of supporting our allies. I think we can all agree on that. What that support looks like is the question. Do we provide free security for our allies and lose American blood and money fighting someone else’s battle? At some point you have to let your children free to make their own mistakes, it’s the only way they learn.

Like a mother bird kicking her babies out of the nest to teach them to fly, we cannot keep putting our blood and money behind other people’s fights. They don’t have any skin in the game if we’re doing all the hard work for them. If we haven’t taught them how to fight their own battles after 19 years, then we aren’t ever going to.

Thanks to Jeff LPH 3 for sending me the article.

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Afghanistan, Big Pentagon, Guest Link, Iraq, Mattis

Comments (89)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    By any objective measure, Afghanistan is an endless war. – They have NEVER, EVER done anything else. Their entire history is one of prolonged warfare, whether it’s the tribes shooting at each other or shooting at Alexander the Macedonian, or Marco Polo, or the Brits and now the Americans. The only variable in all of that is the weapons they used.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Afghanistan is also known as “The Graveyard of Empires”, just ask the British, French and Russians as to why!

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    Somebody has something on Mattis.
    There is no other explanation.
    Let’s see how he welcomes John Kerry to the new Cabal

    • Slow Joe says:

      Nah. Mattis is just another Perfumed Prince, just like Colin Powell.

      All officers that make it to General get corrupted by the swamp, one way or another. And they feel loved when they hang out with the military leaders of other countries. They become friends, eat at each other houses, and lose sight of the ball, of the real game, and of America’s interests.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        But does he admire Kerry? That will tell me all I need to know.
        Kerry threw us all under the bus driven by Ho Chi Minh.
        He threw “someone elses” medals over the wall.
        I would love to see a photo of Mattis shaking Kerry’s hand.
        That would be awesome! Mattis would be toast to all veterans.
        At least to those who read history.

      • ALand says:

        Agreed he is a blue falcon. What combat commands has he had. Just like Colin Powell he is a political player not a combat leader.

        Name edited to protect PII.
        AW1

  3. LC says:

    I’ve never understood why people here in the US take such an issue with Trump saying American should come first.

    Given what you say below about being 100% in favor of supporting allies, it seems like are in general agreement with Mattis conceptually, just disagree with his choice of verbiage:

    In practice, they added, “America first” has meant “America alone,” making the nation more vulnerable to emerging threats.

    ‘America first’ is fine when it means we put our country first. ‘America first’ isn’t fine when it means we’re alone – not with global ideological threats that require allied support to suppress.

    • Mason says:

      Who says we’re doing anything alone?

      • 26Limabeans says:

        We have a friend in Israel.

        • timactual says:

          We have a dependant in Israel.

          • 26Limabeans says:

            With sharp teeth.

            • Green Thumb says:

              And a heavy hand.

              But I might as well if my back was to the sea and my neighbors follow a national policy of Jewish extermination.

          • Slow Joe says:

            I disagree.

            According to wiki, in 2017 we expended 49.8 billions a year in foreign aid, of which Israel received 3.1 billion, in third place after Afghanistan (5.7 billion) and Iraq (3.7 billion dollars)

            Israel budget in 2017 was 116 billion dollars, so our aid was less than 3 percent of their budget.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_aid#Overview

          • Slow Joe says:

            I kind of wonder what Afghanistan is doing with that 5.7 billion dollars a year….

            Also there 5 other countries to which we give over billion per year besides the 3 mentioned above.

            South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and Jordan.

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              That “Afghanistan” aid is being grafted out elsewhere. Flynn was to audit the various Shenanigans, thus the swamp destroyed him. Trump wanted the corruption exposed, and ended, thus the Donks and friends had to end his presidency.

              Mattis wants back in, and then the lucrative post-hoc deals. Swamplord

              Remember the warning of Eisenhower? MIC uber alles, and now you know who it was funding all those oddly well-financed violent folks and backroom printing operations.

              Because Trump broke their crooked game and piggybank.

    • MI Ranger says:

      LC I conceptually agree with your statement at the bottom, but the way you get there means you try to read too much Leftist propaganda into the statement before realizing the answer.

      President Trump has always been about supporting our allies. However, he is adamant about them paying their own way and not just waiting for the US to do all the work. Specifically with NATO, he did not leave them high and dry and say we are pulling out, he simply said: You agreed to pay 10%…start doing it!
      I have lost faith in many of the Flag Officers that I thought understood what is good and right! Colin Powel was thrown under the bus by his Republican Collegues, but to come out and say he has known Joe Biden and respected him for a long time makes me wonder what happened to him. Mattis the same. Our purpose in Afghanistan was to stabilize the country and ensur eit is no longer a Terrorist breading and training ground. The Taliban have agreed to work with the Government of Afghanistan (GoA). They will continue to bicker over territory and probably have more bombings and attacks, but if we can let the people choose their own way while ensuring terrorists have not moved back in to export their experience from a sanctuary we have accomplished our mission. Lets stop moving the goal post and take our trophy home!

      • LC says:

        I’ve definitely got no problem with Trump telling allies to pay their part – that’s absolutely a good thing. Commitments should be exactly that.

        And while I’m not sure where exactly I myself stand on Afghanistan, I can wholly understand wanting to get our people out – zero question about that. My only hesitation is what it’ll mean long term, and the unanswerable question of, “If we stayed X more years, does the probability of a long-term success grow in a way that’s worth it?”. Since I don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t answer that, but if it falls apart immediately, I also feel it calls into question the very initial actions taken. But by all means, the military did its primary job fine, and shouldn’t be tasked with nation-building, so bring them home.

        More to my point, the issue in the article by Mattis and others is that our allies have a dim view of “America First”, and that harms us in the long term. Global security is a team sport, for better or worse, and if you step back from that cooperative engagement with allies, it leaves you vulnerable in the future. I elaborated a bit below in my reply to the Army Mom, too.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          If we stay another 20 years, will Afghanistan change?

          No.

          If we stationed 250 thousand troops there for 20 years, with -Roman- rules of engagement, would Afghanistan change?

          No.

          Time to change the game plan. Because they are not becoming us. We are becoming them.

          No.

    • Only Army Mom says:

      Altruism is neither a realistic nor achievable geopolitical stance. Americans are individually and collectively altruistic, but it is naïve to think we “help” others politically, economically or militarily out of that lauded altruism.

      The America First philosophy means we are not to compromise our time, talent, treasure or principles in exchange for the opportunity to help others. That has been the modus operandi of US foreign policy, and has caused endless strife.

      You, Whateverstan, want to oppress half your population, engage in endless civil war, exchange one dictator for another, starve your population to build up your military? Go ahead. You are a sovereign nation and it is up to your people to choose the government and conditions in which to live their lives. But. As soon as you directly threaten us, game over. If the international community decides you have gone too far, we’ll join in as a participant but never in a way that compromises our Prime Directive of America First.

      America First as the start and end point of all foreign policy is appropriately game changing in our favor and makes us safer in both the short and long term. America First is not isolationist. America First doesn’t mean we’re alone. America First is not just a military strategy but also an economic stance.

      Here at home, America First means we don’t allow use of a CCP funded social media app on computers, cellphones, etc. of our government or military employees. America First means we don’t allow US corporations to prosper at the expense of American jobs, i.e., outsourcing production. America First means we don’t have trade deals that require US corporations to outsource so they can compete in American markets because of ridiculous trade deals and tariffs.

      Arguing against America First is a violation of the oaths every elected official and member of the military makes. Arguing against America First is a direct capitulation to our enemies, both foreign and domestic.

      To read “America First” as “America alone” is an intentional, willful misinterpretation in service of another ideology or agenda.

      • Green Thumb says:

        Word.

      • SFC D says:

        Never argue with Mom.

      • Slow Joe says:

        Excellent points.

      • Poetrooper says:

        Very well stated, Army Mom, very well.

      • UpNorth says:

        What the rest of the posters said, Army Mom, well said.

      • LC says:

        There’s a lot to address here, so let me just take two parts that I think are the crux of your argument.

        The America First philosophy means we are not to compromise our time, talent, treasure or principles in exchange for the opportunity to help others. That has been the modus operandi of US foreign policy, and has caused endless strife.

        I’m not entirely sure what you mean here by this ‘exchange’ – more often than not, we don’t pursue actions just to ‘help others’, we do them because they help us.  Maybe I’ve already sampled too much turkey for the holiday, but what recent foreign policy objectives have we undertaken that have been at the behest of helping others, and not us?  This isn’t to say our policy decisions have always been clear or effective, and there’s plenty of criticism to go around for things like our situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, but we don’t tend to have allies saying, “Hey, buddy, can you help us with this?”, without us getting something in return.  

        And one of the main points of the article by Mattis and others is that these alliances matter – global security is a team sport, more so now than ever, and maintaining our advantageous position in the world via our alliances is critical to our future.  That’s not altruism, that’s security in a world with an emergent China, terrorism and other large challenges looming.

        America First is not isolationist. America First doesn’t mean we’re alone. America First is not just a military strategy but also an economic stance.

        In the military, the saying is, “The enemy gets a vote”.  The corollary here is probably, “The ally gets an interpretation.”  You say America First is not isolationist – that’s your interpretation.  The authors -and, seemingly, a lot of our allies- seem to feel differently.  It’s a bit like how if I say, “My body, my choice!” about wearing a mask during a pandemic, liberals will freak out and conservatives will applaud, but if I say the same phrase about a pregnant woman’s choices, those roles are reversed.  The phrase itself depends on context, and the context for “America First” is that our allies seem to be pretty unimpressed.  Now, granted, it’s hard to separate out foreign opinion of the US based on “America First” from foreign opinion of the US based on the sum total of things going on in this country right now, but how favorably we’re viewed by our allies has definitely dropped[1].  

          Why does that matter?  Because those very military and economic stances you mention depend on agreements with allies.  With a strong alliance (that isn’t inwardly focused a la “America First!”) between (say) the US and EU, if China threatens economic damage to the US, but at the same time offers the EU a good deal, we have enough political capital to work with the EU against China.  With a weakened alliance where it’s everyone focuses on what’s best for them first, we have no such capital, and the EU takes the good deal, and the US suffers.  That sort of thing is a further weakening of our position in the world.

          In the end, much like in personal relationships, we go further with friends.  And while saying, “Me first!” doesn’t mean you don’t have friends, it tends to mean that over time they’ll become closer with those who cooperate with them on common things, than those who constantly remind you that they come first, even if in many ways, that’s a healthy, necessary attitude.  Arguing for that cooperative growth and security is not, as you say, a capitulation to enemies, nor a violation of oaths.  It’s the best long-term plan for the country.

        [1] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/01/08/how-people-around-the-world-see-the-u-s-and-donald-trump-in-10-charts/

        • Mason says:

          what recent foreign policy objectives have we undertaken that have been at the behest of helping others, and not us?

          Everything on the continent of Africa for one. The peace deals between the Arab states and Israel for another.

        • Only Army Mom says:

          Nope, not even close to the crux.

          Here’s a hint…it has something to do with not being overly, primarily or even mildly concerned with how our allies or enemies interpret, or if they’re impressed by, America First.

          Here’s another…read the first four sentences. Together.

          Thanks for playing, better luck next time having a relevant comment.

        • Thunderstixx says:

          What is it with you libturds ???????
          You parse everything into molecular structure and complain about one semantic bull shit thing or another.
          All of you klownes have far outlived your usefulness and you really need to sit down, stfu and actually support America instead of throwing her under the damn bus every chance you get.
          Go piss up a rope dumbass.
          Move to berzerkeley, sing songs with larsie-boi and eat cookies while pondering the mysteries of the difference between stupid and intelligent…
          Maybe you can figure out how far down the stupid chart you go…
          Piss off and someone give this moron the twitter treatment. They bore the shit out of everybody else.

        • T1B says:

          Did you seriously equate wearing or not wearing a mask to abortion?

        • timactual says:

          ” that’s your interpretation.”

          Unless you can supply a standar4d definition I don’t see what else we can work with. That’s what we have a State Department and diplomatic corps for; to explain our interpretation to others and their interpretation to us. The chief executive decides our interpretation, and so far I don’t see any signs that our chief executive is an isolationist.

      • CDR D says:

        Right on!

    • OldManchu says:

      Whatever you say Lars Jr…..

      I like your digital structure though. It is definitely a step above Lars’s infinite double space method. Good job.

    • ALand says:

      Tell us about our loyal and steadfast allies, you know the French, Canadians, Germans, Greeks, Spanish, Italians. I long for the day we can re-create Obama’s coalition. The Muslim Brotherhood, Cuba, North Korea and the Iranians!

      Name edited to protect PII.
      AW1

  4. 5th/77th FA says:

    Never thought that “Mad Dog” would sell out. Pity.

    “Why should American Boys (or Girls) be doing what (insert name of other Country here) Boys (or Girls) should be doing.” Only thing the POS LBJ ever said I agreed with. Then he turned right around and committed American Boys to do the fighting for someone else.

    GTFO!

    • Only Army Mom says:

      Mad Dog got neutered by believing his own press.

    • The Dead Man says:

      In the book Bad Blood about the Theranos scam, Mattis bought the scam hook line and sinker. When one of the medical advisors realized it was a load of BS, he was told to sit on it because Mattis would have him tossed from his job for proving him wrong. He brought it up anyway, fully expecting to get trounced.

      Whether he’s gone native or he’s just a bit dense remains to be seen. Neither’s a particularly great prospect.

      • Only Army Mom says:

        I’ve long heard rumblings Mattis is not the Saint many believe. But I do think Mattis genuinely believes that continuing a policemen of the world is both right and fruitful. I also think he is wrong in this belief and the evidence of the past four years supports America First.

        I’m not ready to attribute some darker motive like selling out. Again, I believe Mattis is genuine, and genuinely wrong. And has proven his ineligibility for deification by this thinly veiled swipe at one of the few people who have ever disagreed with him and had the power to nullify him. I’ve long heard Mattis can be a bully. Well, he got out-bullied and he’s still smarting.

  5. QMC says:

    At some point when you climb up the bureaucratic chain (and that’s more or less what it is once you put a star on), you tend to sell your soul to become that which you once despised years ago.

    Some are able to buck the trend, but it seems that they are the exception, rather than the rule.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Yep. This is my perception as well.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      The way to become a General requires one to convince a bunch of Generals that you are one of them and no threat, a proven swamp denizen. Thus only political swamprats get stars. If any folks of character leak through to Brigadier they get sidelined or busted by MG. They do not make O-9.

  6. 2banana says:

    Mattis was on the board of directors of the multi billion dollar fraud company of Theranos.

    He also gave legitimacy to the rumors that Theranos was going to get billions in military contracts.

    He is scum.

  7. Only Army Mom says:

    When I first saw the headlines saying Mattis came out against “America First”, I wondered if he has early stage Bidenitis. After reading what he said, it is kinda worse. By choosing that phrase and language, he comes off petty and bitter. Yeah, I thought better of him, too. I don’t believe Mattis spoke indelicately, phrased it unfortunately, etc. That is not Mattis’ way. He intentionally took a swipe at Trump, and diminished himself in the process.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with his – or any other I’ve yet heard – stated reasons for objecting to this phrase, philosophy or stance. I’m always open to another perspective or interpretation with the caveat that globalism is not a starting point.

    Do I want to see others prosperous, secure from terrorism both internal and external, and safe from aggression from less peaceful, Democratically inclined Nations, factions and ideologies? Of course. But, like others have said if the cases in point, Afghanistan and Iraq, have not gotten there after 19 years of our involvement, they never will with our continued involvement.

    America First means our time, talent and treasure are expended First in our own, exclusive interests. America First means we are not the policemen of the world. And that is what I believe Mattis’ thinks we should be as a strategy of American security. That is a mistake, as evidenced by how America has been taken advantage of, by how we are then accused of using our assistance as Imperial leverage, a justification for attacks on us, by the enrichment of a few well-connected individuals and firms at the expense of the tax payers and in the lives of our soldiers.

    America First means that we will go it alone, if necessary, defensively or offensively.

    America First says, “You do what you want in your own country, region, etc. But, cross a line and directly threaten us or ours and we will rain down on you the full force and might of America, as a First step”. This lack of concern for the opinions of the rest of the world makes the world a safer place. We are the Big Dogs, willingly self-leashed. Remember that before you drag your stick across our fence.”

    America First works. Bottom line. It works. So, because Orange Man Bad said it, we must do the opposite.

    What’s worse than Bidenitis? TDS, and I’m sorry to say Mattis seems to have developed a full-blown case.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      BAM! On Target…Fired for Effect! Testify OAM/Little Sister. And you yourself know as well as any, and more than most, the toil these endless wars have taken.

      We have sacrificed way yonder too much American Treasure, and for certain way, way yonder too much precious American Blood in these places. Nuke the site, on sight, from orbit…it’s the only way to be sure.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      America First means we are not the policemen of the world. And that is what I believe Mattis’ thinks we should be as a strategy of American security. –> No, we are not the world’s policemen and do not need to be the world’s babysitter, either. Spot on, OAM.

      Mattis is wrong, just as MacArthur was wrong, and Westmoreland was wrong. That “empire builder” thing/notion went out when the Brits turned India over to the Indians. There seems to be no end in sight to local conflicts everywhere, which become distractions. Unless everyone on this planet is hit with the same threat, it’s unlikely that will change. So, yes, we need to put America First and foremost.

      • Mason says:

        To wait for an end to all the war is a fool’s errand.

        “In the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war.”

        Lessons of History Will and Ariel Durant (1968)

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        268 years without warfare? That many? Wow. I thought it was less than that.

  8. Bones says:

    Ask the survivors of SFODA-574 about Mattis.

    “Well, if they’ve taken fire,” said the general, “and you can’t tell me definitively how they got all scuffed up, I’m not going to send anything until you can assure me that the situation on the ground is secure.”

    “Inside, the expressions on the faces of Mattis’s staff showed their frustration and embarrassment. One Marine glanced away as they walked past, unable to meet their eyes.”

    Excerpt From: The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan. “Eric Blehm.” Apple Books.

    • timactual says:

      I’ve read a lot about that, and I agree with Mattis on that one. It looked to me like the “special” operations folks screwed the pooch on that one and looked for someone outside their chain of command to find a scapegoat.

    • Bones says:

      No, they only asked him to fly helos from outside of Kandahar to pick up the wounded and dead. It was a 1/2 hour flight, at most. He refused to let them fly.

      USAF HH-53s flew in from Jalalabad.

      • timactual says:

        That is one way to look at it. One-sided and overly simplified.

        Another, also overly simplified and one-sided, interpretation is that the special ops folks suddenly demanded outside the chain of command that Mattis drop whatever else his over extended force was doing and send scarce resources and personnel into a situation the special ops forces refused to explain.

  9. timactual says:

    Seems like only yesterday that Mattis was a fair-haired boy on this site (among others). My, how times change.

    • David says:

      When he acted like a fair-haired boy, he was treated as such. When he doesn’t, he draws fire just like many others have done. He may not have been consistent, but the commenters here by and large were (agree with them or not.)

      I have only one question for Mattis: Given his presumed wisdom, what does he propose for an end-game and exit strategy in either country?

      • timactual says:

        Does a man’s character and belief system change so radically over so short a time period?

        I think not.

        • OWB says:

          Doubt that many here, if any at all, actually knew the man personally. For myself, I usually give the new guy in charge the benefit of the doubt until he proves he deserves more or less of my respect. Quite often I get that which I project that I expect of them, but that only works in face to face situations.

          With Mattis, I had no reason to like or dislike him. My default position was the same with him as it would be with anyone else – support him until he shows me he does not deserve my support.

          This really isn’t all that difficult, timactual. Seriously.

    • Slow Joe says:

      Which is evidence that we are nobody’s fan boys and treat people according to what they deserve.

      We don’t live in an echo chamber or march on anyone’s orders. There is no bias here, only fair assessment and most of us here give people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

      Wow. I got to use the royal “we”!
      That was so cool.

      Thank you, Timactual, for giving me this rare opportunity.

      • Mason says:

        Thank you, Timactual, for giving us this rare opportunity.

        FTFY

      • Ex-:PH2 says:

        If China starts to physically claim the parts of southwest Asia, which include Afghanistan among other parts, the probability of more warfare over there will increase. That whole area is full of the rare earths that China needs/wants for all that electronic junk we hold so dear, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get control of it.

        • Mason says:

          Not with Biden. We can look no further than Ukraine for an indication of how they’ll respond with a sternly worded letter.

        • OWB says:

          Back in the dark ages of the 60’s, a course in Asian history enlightened me to the fact that China included vast tracts of land in western Asia that they basically left alone because it wasn’t worth the effort it would take to really control it. At the time, nobody even knew for sure just where all the borders were.

          What led to that hands off policy? The simple fact that the indigenous peoples had already been warring for millennia and showed no signs of being persuaded to do otherwise without great effort or, more likely, complete elimination of the warring factions.

          Has something changed since the 60’s? Not that I can see. Well, except for a couple of other countries having to learn the hard way what China already knew.

          • The Other Whitey says:

            Let China bleed itself dry in Afghanistan. They deserve eachother.

          • timactual says:

            “Has something changed since the 60’s?”

            The science of Geology has advanced quite a bit; enough to determine that valuable deposits of _______ exist in those vast wastelands.

            Also, the Military-Industrial complex has grown and entrenched itself deeply. Particularly as that complex now includes untold numbers of folks who produce only paper and theories (position papers) and also move back and forth between government and the “private” sector.

      • timactual says:

        You are welcome–I live to serve.

        “There is no bias here,”
        “we are nobody’s fan boys”

        Meh. I mildly disagree. That’s why I try to make up for it by being mildly obnoxious (YMMV). My bias seems to run counter. I call it skeptical, others may call it *________ .

        It sure seems to me that both Mattis and Petraeus have/had a fan club here.

        Time for a nap. Turkey & etc. make my eyelids grow heavy.

        Adieu

        *Enter your own pejorative adjective here. Try to be creative. Consult a Thesaurus.

  10. Hey mattis, if you want us to stay in these shit hole countries, can you give me a few tips on the Arms/armament companies that you and your high ranking peeps have stocks in.

  11. Devtun says:

    Then LtGen Mattis was the convening authority during Haditha Massacre investigation. He wrecked the career of LtCol Jeffrey Chessani. The LtCol was cleared of fault by naval board of inquiry, but Mattis & his staff continued to press investigations. MajGen Richard Huck was alleged to have been censured after he clashed w/ Gen Mattis & declined to continue further investigations. Warrior Monk? Nah, backstabbing skunk.

  12. Sparks says:

    Mattis wants to “Slow Pullout from Afghanistan”.

    Really General Mattis?

    Maybe you just didn’t see enough of your Marines die there and in Iraq. So then, how many more should we sacrifice to the lost cause of a nation who wants to live in the 7th century?

  13. Commissar says:

    Mason, if you were not such a brainwashed, partisan, propagandist hack…, you would still like Mattis.

  14. 3/10/MED/b says:

    Ex-ph2, I am embarrassed to ask for help. I was a medic. Just looking for someone to bark to. My main job is keeping my Dad alive, which was quite important when ef-2s flew threw last night.
    Any new recepies?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I’ll post a couple tomorrow. If he likes soup, I have a good hearty recipe that might work, unless he can’t have stuff like beef kielbasa or onion.

      Let me know.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        I meant to add that you can always put soup like bean soup into a blender and turn it into a smooth, but thick, liquid that is easy to swallow, if your dad needs something nourishing.
        And you can make a potato soup with instant mashed taters and some low-key seasonings. Just have to think it a bit with broth or milk.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      b…Look thru the Archives under Economy, or go back week by week looking for Monday’s Recipe (‘Ed does those on of all days, Mondays) and Ex’s Thursdays are for Cooking. Lot’s of good stuff there. Most of them fairly simple and can be one pot dishes. Gitarcarver shows how to do a lot of stuff in a pressure cooker. Treasure your time with Dad, lost mine in ’63…Mama in ’81. Cooking is a good way to help look after your Dad, and a spoon in something good to eat is better than a shovel digging in the same old hole. We here for you Man.

  15. Just An Old Dog says:

    Slippin’ Jimmy looks like he’s not satisfied with getting fired by the last two presidents, and is wanting to get hired/fired by a third.
    He sees himself as a 21st Century Marcus Arelius .

  16. Blaster says:

    I liked Mattis as a general and somewhat as SECDEF, now,,, he’s just another politician. It seems to happen to a lot of generals.

    He’s part of th military industrial complex drumming up business. No wars=no money.

  17. Steeleyi says:

    There are two debates here. The first is whether or not the US should pursue a global foreign policy that necessitates involvement in foreign wars. The second is whether or not a particular war (in this case Afghanistan) requires us to expend blood and treasure, and if so, how much.

    To the first debate: US foreign policy is, always has been, and always will be America First. Believe it or not, it was that way under Obama and Carter.

    Because we could, we created a post war international structure that favored the US by promoting liberal markets underwritten by US Then NATO (and other allies) security. Are we the worlds police? Yes, and that’s a good thing. We were isolationist when we were a third rate power. We’ve been globalists since long before WWI

    Part of what makes it work, though, is that everyone sees the benefit to them. Explicitly saying it’s just about us sort of goes against the basic concept.

    The US keeps the global commons open for business. We need it that way so we can sell our goods and buy the ones we want. In the old days, it was about keeping the Soviets out of Western Europe. The world security situation has morphed, of course. When Islamic terrorists changed their MO to attacking the West in our cities, we had to address the threat. Thus, the invasion of Afghanistan.

    Now the second debate: Should we have invaded, and do we still need to be there?

    The answer to the first question is almost certainly ‘yes’- we had to defeat Al Qaeda (the Taliban are a collateral target), and show the world not to attack us in our homeland.

    Should we still be there? The answer to that is another question: To what end?

    The problem here is that we don’t have a coherent strategy that lays out our strategic ends. Actually, Trumps National Security Strategy would make one assume that he wants us to stay.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we need to be there any more. The problem is that the Trump administration Hasn’t laid out the end state we are looking for. Withdrawing for the sake of withdrawing does not make much sense

    • timactual says:

      “We were isolationist when we were a third rate power.”

      Not really. Just more selective and with fewer resources back then. We didn’t jump into WWII with both feet as some would have liked, but we were hardly isolationist.

      • Steeleyi says:

        I think you are echoing my point. We were ‘isolationist‘ because we did not have sufficient power to achieve our aims overseas, but we were still engaged to some degree. Even in the early days- the shores of Tripoli and so on.

        Despite the fact that US is and always has been a maritime power and used that power to keep the global commons open for centuries, we tend to focus on our land wars. No one thinks twice about the incredible cost of keeping the sea lanes open and offshore policing, but the reality is that you have thousands of sailors on multimillion dollar ships at sea at any given time.

  18. 5JC says:

    Eagerly awaiting what appointment Mattis will have under Biden and can’t wait to find out what country they want to put first instead.

    Mattis was the biggest disappointment since I opened all those boxes of underwear under the tree that year. Boxers I told them, not tighties, good grief.