You CAN be a Badass AND a Deep thinker. Mattis is Living Proof!
In the Confirmation Hearings, we learned Mattis wasn’t much of a fan of the ‘Mad Dog’ nickname. (That’s OK … WE still love it!)
And there were a number of other things we’ve learned as well. (Direct quotes are in bold.)
Here are some notable quotes gleaned from his confirmation hearings.
We learned he’s a student of history.
“History is not a straitjacket, but I’ve never found a better guide for the way ahead than studying the histories.”
He’s aware of — and interested in — what actually CAUSES conflicts.
“There’s another piece of wisdom from antiquity that says: fear, honor and interest always seem to be the root causes of why a nation chooses to go to hostilities.”
He’s adaptive… meaning he’s more interested in readiness for the NEXT conflict than for the one we just HAD.
“We have to make certain we’re not dominant and irrelevant at the same time. Dominant in a past form of warfare that is no longer relevant.”
He has the attitude that, if you must fight… fight to WIN.
“My belief is that we have to stay focused on the military that is so lethal that on the battlefield, it is the enemy’s longest day and worst day when they run into that force.”
He has an understanding of the importance of sending clear messages to other nations… both about what our boundaries are and also about WHO we are. (Think: Reagan’s City On A Hill metaphor)
“A lot of crises and even wars, have started from miscalculation. So while it’s important we make clear what we stand for … it’s also important that our adversaries know what we absolutely will not tolerate. And by making that clear, you’re less apt to have somebody stumble into a situation where now we’re forced to take action.”
“America has two fundamental powers. One is the power of intimidation. I was part of it and America will defend herself and our idea, this experiment that we call America. And that’s all it is, is an experiment in democracy. But the other power I think that perhaps we have used less in recent years, last 20 years maybe, is the power of inspiration. And I think that the power of inspiration of America at times has got to be employed just as strongly.”
He also had something to say about not being a paper tiger… about what helps troops can return home without being ‘broken’ by their experience… and the dangers of group-think. You can read more of them: Washington Examiner
The more we read about this guy, the more we like this nomination.