More From Ricks on Mattis

More; a lot more.  Here are two points out of several:

  • In his dealings with the White House, Mattis also tried to change the strategic framework, insisting that we need to plan not just for what we assumed Iran might do, but also for what Iran was capable of doing. I am told this was not a welcome thought.
  • The Mattis-Donilon disagreements weren’t just about Iran. Other issues on which Mattis was pushing the White House to think deeper and harder, I am told, were “Afghanistan, concerns about Pakistani stability, [and] response to the Arab spring.”

Read and think. What will the Middle East and the Gulf look like this time next year? In January 2017? (And note the typical spokespunk weaseling at the end.)

This ain’t the time to gut the military and play ostrich. But there you have it.


  1. Slater says:

    Ricks needs to get back to earth, some of the things he talks about has me scratching his head. 'Chaos' is ready to move out. He's been in 40 years and unless you make him Commandant or the next Chairman there is nothing more for him to do.

  2. Slater says:

    *my head

  3. townie 76 says:


    I am sorry but Ricks got this one wrong. I have no doubt that Mattis bumped heads with Donilon, but I also know he has a friend in retired LTG Ludt. Mattis may have pissed the White House Staff off, but he has the confidence of the Chairman and SECDEF. I think he just wants to retire. (Got that on real good authority.)

    This is part of a normal change. It should have happened last summer as he originally agreed to stay only two years. There are several more changes coming this year, AFRICACOM, EUCOM, and possibly one of the functional Combatant Commands.

  4. Wilbur says:

    As an Aussie I hate to see any notion of the U.S. running down its military and "playing ostrich". However, every cloud has a silver lining, and seeing European powers trying to step up and do their own thing in the absence of a U.S. presence is what I think they call a teaching moment. The recent debacle in Algeria, with it's tragic hostage casualties, might be the sort of thing that makes Europeans realise what a smaller U.S. footprint means in the long run. Whatever strategic reality Europe is in by January 2017, if they're forced to take up some responsibilities themselves (Mali for example), it might be a good thing.

    In the meantime, if you guys want some decent training grounds, we have plenty here in Oz. Weather is good and the beer is full strength as well….. ;-)