first published on October 16, 2018 by Will
During an interview on 60 Minutes that aired Sunday, President Trump hinted that he may soon be replacing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
In the interview Trump said he will be making some changes within his cabinet because he was unsatisfied with the current lineup.
When pressed about Mattis, Trump said, “I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth … He may leave.”
Mattis responded to the comment by saying that he has never registered for any political party and also said that Trump called him following the interview and told him, “I am 100 percent with you.”
Defense Secretary Mattis is highly revered within the military. A retired Marine General and former CENTCOM commander, he has retained his callsign “Chaos” and has also been dubbed “Mad Dog.” One would think (and many mistakenly do) that Mattis is a bloodthirsty warhawk. Trump likely thought the same when selecting Mattis for the position.
However, the nickname that probably best describes Mattis would be the “Warrior Monk,” based on his thoughtfulness and tendency to exhaust all means of diplomacy before taking up the sword.
Case in point: “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all” -Mattis
The exact reason for the possible firing isn’t clear. However, the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has appeared to stall out, and the nightmarish security (or lack there of) situation in Afghanistan continues to crumble as the US has embarrassingly entered peace talks with the Taliban.
Regardless of the reasoning, Trump had better handle the situation gracefully and respectfully, considering Mattis’ ever favorable status with active duty military members, while Trump’s approval rating continues to degrade among the troops.