Trump to nominate Gen Mattis for defence secretary

  • Trump to nominate Gen Mattis for defence secretary

Trump to nominate Gen Mattis for defence secretary

For Mattis to be approved by the U.S. Senate, Congress will have to waive a law requiring defense secretaries to be retired from active service for at least seven years.

Republicans issued glowing testimonials to Mattis and his career.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel, said, "While I deeply respect General Mattis' service, I will oppose a waiver". "I don't think [Mattis] is going to propose a reduction of USA bases in Japan".

The question is, how big of a problem is this for Mattis' confirmation chances?

"Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy", Gillibrand said in a statement Thursday, "and I will not vote for an exception to this rule". The law was changed in 2008, reducing from ten to seven the number of years that a nominee must be retired from the military. Mattis retired in 2013.

Pentagon correspondents describe Mattis as being a kind of living legend within the Marine Corps for his tough but thoughtful approach to leadership, qualities that have given him the nicknames of both "mad dog" and "warrior monk".

Even some who served in the Obama administration voiced support for Mattis despite the retired general's criticisms of the president's foreign policy dealings, particularly with Iran.

"I mean (Trump) told everyone that he thought that we needed to return to torture". On the news of his nomination, many of those sayings instantly became memes on Twitter.

In one famous line attributed to the outspoken general from 2003, he told marines in Iraq: "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet".

Retired General James Mattis' nomination to be President-elect Trump's Secretary of Defense may, well, march through the Senate, but there is one potential obstacle to maneuver around; the retired general part. If confirmed, he might also be a calming influence on Mike Flynn, the irascible former general Trump has chosen to be national security adviser - someone Mattis outranked in the military by a star.

Meantime, Macquarie analyst Andrew DeGasperi wrote in a note Thursday that the selection of Mattis could lift demand for intelligence due to the former general's "views on re-engaging the U.S. Military globally. He has real-world experience combined with a keen intellect", Graham said.

"Jim, as everyone knows, is a straight-talking, tough Marine -but he is also quite cerebral in that he is contemplative, thoughtful, and studious", Gen. Jack Keane, who withdrew himself from consideration for the post in Trump's Cabinet, told Fox News.

"Considering the other picks that (Trump) has made, this would be the wrong target", he said. "There are a lot of jobs to fill at the Pentagon, this could bring in some talent and that's a net gain".