The US stance on foreign affairs became a little clearer this week as Donald Trump announced his new Defense Secretary – ‘Mad Dog Mattis’. Many might be a little concerned about that sort of nickname for one of the most powerful positions in the world, yet Donald Trump reveled in the nickname and perhaps indicated the coming administration’s international positioning.
It was a surprise announcement but only the timing as many had predicted that the Ex-General would be appointed next week. Instead Trump decided to make it public during a rally in Cincinnati this week, the crowd were cheering as he made the statement.
So who is James Mattis? Well he;s a retired Marine general who made his reputation during the Iraq invasion of 2003 where he spearheaded the 1st Marine’s Divisions quick advance into Baghdad. He has a good reputation as a military strategist although his techniques are often thought as more blunt and direct.
He has held some high levels of command, and was previously a commander of US Central Command the section of the military concerned with the Middle East. His opinion on places like Iran is very hard line, more power and force than diplomacy. He has previously accused the Iranian government of various crimes including a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington DC.
The appointment though is not guaranteed as there is no automatic approval by the Senate because he has only been retired for three years. Anything under seven years requires a Congressional Waver under a law implemented in 1947. This will need to be considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee as the appointment is only a nomination until formally approved.
You can keep up with the latest updates by watching a US News Channel like NBC and ABC. If you’re out of the country unfortunately these don’t work but you can access using a VPN or somethign like this Netflix Smart DNS solution.