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Thread: SECDEF Mattis Resigns

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    SECDEF Mattis Resigns

    Was he the last adult left at the table?

    Was it the Syria pullout that did it...the last straw?
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 12-20-2018 at 11:25 PM.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Was he the last adult left at the table?

    Was it the Syria pullout that did it...the last straw?
    Probably Syria (Which most Americans don't Support) or making NATO pay their way.

    Either way, Chairman Obama had 4 SECDEFs in 8 years, so not unusual...

    Maybe Now With Mattis out of the way they can right the wrong & get on with giving the transvestites the boot.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 12-21-2018 at 12:24 AM.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Rumor is that Mattis went to the White House for a 1500 meeting with POTUS to discuss the uncoordinated with DoD ENDEX for ops in Syria. Mattis had his resignation letter ready depending on the outcome of the meeting. Mattis called an unscheduled meeting of his staff at 1700 and announced his resignation — tells of how the meeting went.
    @Rainmaker is correct, most Americans do not support our presence in Syria. To say that ISIS is defeated is not accurate and by leaving now we likely are (by default) committing ourselves to going back in 3-8 years.

    Secretary Mattis retiring is unfortunate, even arguably bad for multiple reasons:

    -timing: a lot of administration officials on the way out, in 3 weeks we will have a new Congress with an opposition party controlled House and specific to defense, a lot of things going on right now.

    -administration credibility: maybe not the ‘last adult’, but Mattis is arguably the last administration official who the Democrats would listen to / respect and Republicans who don’t really like POTUS could say was a “leveling factor”.

    I see two COAs for finding the next SECDEF:
    1. A political fanboy of POTUS
    2. Another retired FO/GO

    COA 1 is probably the more likely route as POTUS may have tired of his recent FO/GO experiences (Flynn, McMaster, Kelly, and Mattis — and the odd naming of the next CJCS 18 months in advance of Gen Dunford’s retirement).

    If COA 1, then who?
    If COA 2, then who? Admiral Harris would be an interesting selection. Not sure if he'd be interested in it, however.

    We are almost at the midpoint of DJTs term, the first Dem primary debate is about 6 months away, there are at least 2 Republicans who may challenge him for the nomination. The Mattis resignation isn’t in and if itself odd (many Presidents have multiple cabinets turnovers), but is it the most recent symptom of a larger sickness?
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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Rumor is that Mattis went to the White House for a 1500 meeting with POTUS to discuss the uncoordinated with DoD ENDEX for ops in Syria. Mattis had his resignation letter ready depending on the outcome of the meeting. Mattis called an unscheduled meeting of his staff at 1700 and announced his resignation — tells of how the meeting went.
    @Rainmaker is correct, most Americans do not support our presence in Syria. To say that ISIS is defeated is not accurate and by leaving now we likely are (by default) committing ourselves to going back in 3-8 years.

    Secretary Mattis retiring is unfortunate, even arguably bad for multiple reasons:

    -timing: a lot of administration officials on the way out, in 3 weeks we will have a new Congress with an opposition party controlled House and specific to defense, a lot of things going on right now.

    -administration credibility: maybe not the ‘last adult’, but Mattis is arguably the last administration official who the Democrats would listen to / respect and Republicans who don’t really like POTUS could say was a “leveling factor”.
    Not to mention our 'allies' around the world...

    I see two COAs for finding the next SECDEF:
    1. A political fanboy of POTUS
    2. Another retired FO/GO

    COA 1 is probably the more likely route as POTUS may have tired of his recent FO/GO experiences (Flynn, McMaster, Kelly, and Mattis — and the odd naming of the next CJCS 18 months in advance of Gen Dunford’s retirement).

    If COA 1, then who?
    If COA 2, then who? Admiral Harris would be an interesting selection. Not sure if he'd be interested in it, however.
    Probably someone with isolationist tendencies.

    We are almost at the midpoint of DJTs term, the first Dem primary debate is about 6 months away, there are at least 2 Republicans who may challenge him for the nomination. The Mattis resignation isn’t in and if itself odd (many Presidents have multiple cabinets turnovers), but is it the most recent symptom of a larger sickness?
    Not unusual to get a new SECDEF, no. At the same time that you have no AG, no CoS, and whoever else is in the revolving door....

    ...also a little unusual for the SECDEF to leave under protest with a pretty sharp rebuke of the POTUS. I will be curious come March if Mattis takes a public role speaking out or quietly slips into the background.

    A few months ago, Trump said of Mattis, "He is something of a Democrat, I think"...or something like that....kind of told us they weren't getting along.
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 12-21-2018 at 02:29 PM.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    The only ones upset about us pulling out of Syria are the Neocons and Anderson Cooper's gerbil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    The only ones upset about us pulling out of Syria are the Neocons and Anderson Cooper's gerbil.
    Probably more than just them. I think it's the right move, especially considering our unsustainable deficits (let alone the debt). Besides, just WHEN is the right time to pull out if not now? There's always going to be a threat of an ISIS resurgence...or any other pop-up radical organization.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    I am no fan of the 'forever war'. I would be elated if we could extricate ourselves from the Middle East and think we need to do a zero-based review of our world security posture. Why is the Middle East important to us? I think if we did a review of our security requirements, we'd find that we're focused on the world of 1980 rather than the word of 2040.Look at the obvious answer of oil and it's associated world market implications: We (the US) are now the world's leading producer of oil, what exactly are those implications for us and those we care about if the Middle East goes further down the tubes?

    My only interest is American and to a point allied security. I don't kid myself that things that are happening in the Middle East will eventually have ripple effects in Europe and here. If that part of the world goes to crap and they are so focused on killing each other that they can't focus on killing Americans and our friends, why do we care? My concern, eventually they will train their focus and efforts on us. Ignoring the threat until it is knocking at your door or driving planes into your buildings will fail. Saudi Arabia in large part helped to create the problems around the world we're having how, and we should ding them for that. We also should not abandon those who a couple of months ago we reassured that we were in this for the long haul; I think that this was the biggest issue with Mattis. He is not a 'Mad Dog' itching for war; he is very smart, understands alliances and partnerships and is very vocal about needing them to keep us from having to sustain major operations or presence everywhere. We should look at the secondary / tertiary effects of what happens to a Middle East without US involvement somehow. If they choke off the oil exports from the Middle East in the process, that hurts China more than anyone. It would help Russia more than anyone but we are a close second. Other than oil, I can't think of much in terms of exports from the region that we care about that can't be obtained elsewhere.

    We need to be willing to back away from the Middle East in order to influence places and people that more directly affect us and our security, we shouldn't ignore the area. But let's not be fooled and think that ignoring the region will not impact us; DJT rightly criticized BHO and HRC for policy actions that led to the rise of ISIS. I am concerned that the sudden & uncoordinated withdrawal of support troops there now will have the same effect. The reality of the world and our economies is that we can't be isolationist, and if we want to be a preeminent nation ... we can't do it from across the pond.
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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    I am no fan of the 'forever war'. I would be elated if we could extricate ourselves from the Middle East and think we need to do a zero-based review of our world security posture. Why is the Middle East important to us? I think if we did a review of our security requirements, we'd find that we're focused on the world of 1980 rather than the word of 2040.Look at the obvious answer of oil and it's associated world market implications: We (the US) are now the world's leading producer of oil, what exactly are those implications for us and those we care about if the Middle East goes further down the tubes?
    I'm no hawk, either. The idealist in me says where did we ever get authorization to fight ISIS anyway? They didn't even exist when 9/11 happened and I don't really recall a vote in Congress on this thing.

    My only interest is American and to a point allied security. I don't kid myself that things that are happening in the Middle East will eventually have ripple effects in Europe and here. If that part of the world goes to crap and they are so focused on killing each other that they can't focus on killing Americans and our friends, why do we care? My concern, eventually they will train their focus and efforts on us. Ignoring the threat until it is knocking at your door or driving planes into your buildings will fail. Saudi Arabia in large part helped to create the problems around the world we're having how, and we should ding them for that.

    We also should not abandon those who a couple of months ago we reassured that we were in this for the long haul; I think that this was the biggest issue with Mattis. He is not a 'Mad Dog' itching for war; he is very smart, understands alliances and partnerships and is very vocal about needing them to keep us from having to sustain major operations or presence everywhere. We should look at the secondary / tertiary effects of what happens to a Middle East without US involvement somehow. If they choke off the oil exports from the Middle East in the process, that hurts China more than anyone. It would help Russia more than anyone but we are a close second. Other than oil, I can't think of much in terms of exports from the region that we care about that can't be obtained elsewhere.
    Well, it will be interesting to see what happens...sometimes it seems like if we'd just let the bad guys win, then the whole area will stabilize and that might be better than the almost 20 years of chaos we've been dealing with.

    We need to be willing to back away from the Middle East in order to influence places and people that more directly affect us and our security, we shouldn't ignore the area. But let's not be fooled and think that ignoring the region will not impact us; DJT rightly criticized BHO and HRC for policy actions that led to the rise of ISIS. I am concerned that the sudden & uncoordinated withdrawal of support troops there now will have the same effect. The reality of the world and our economies is that we can't be isolationist, and if we want to be a preeminent nation ... we can't do it from across the pond.
    When are we gonna back away from Germany, Italy, Japan, etc.... sure, we're not fighting there, but not sure I get the whole need for a 50+ year presence there either...aren't we at the point that we can pretty rapidly deploy when the shit hits the fan don't need to be permanently stationed all around the world?
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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I'm no hawk, either. The idealist in me says where did we ever get authorization to fight ISIS anyway? They didn't even exist when 9/11 happened and I don't really recall a vote in Congress on this thing.
    Congress hasn't voted on it; they pretty much don't need to for two specific reaasons:

    1. The deployment of support troops (which is what is in Syria) is short of a declaration of war and does not require congressional authorization for Title 10 authorities / missions; airstrikes are under Title 10 but via our alliance agreements. If there are spacial operations forces, they would be operating under Title 50 (Covert Operations) vice Title 10, so again ... no need for congressional approval.

    2. The primary legal basis is continued reliance on the Authorization of Military Force from 2001 which "authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001 and any "associated forces". ISIS is classified as an associated force ... even thought it didn't exist in 2001.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Well, it will be interesting to see what happens...sometimes it seems like if we'd just let the bad guys win, then the whole area will stabilize and that might be better than the almost 20 years of chaos we've been dealing with.
    I wouldn't agree. If ISIS had not been slowed, an extremist caliphate covering the area from the NAG to the EMED would not be good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    When are we gonna back away from Germany, Italy, Japan, etc.... sure, we're not fighting there, but not sure I get the whole need for a 50+ year presence there either...aren't we at the point that we can pretty rapidly deploy when the shit hits the fan don't need to be permanently stationed all around the world?
    Mostly agree. We can rapidly deploy nearly anywhere. The need for a force to slow Soviet troops moving West isn't there like it was in the Cold War. NATO while still valuable has shifted significantly from what is was / why it was conceived. At the same time, as long as we are still medevacing people from the Middle East, having medical facilities in Europe has been extremely beneficial and while we can use CVN/CVW for a lot of things quickly CVWs burn lots of fuel, consume lots of repair parts, and should be delivering lots of ordnance. Resupply always comes through in-theater bases, and disruption of these can be as detrimental to the war effort as outright sinking ships or shooting down airplanes.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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