Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday that Donald Trump’s nomination of retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to the Pentagon’s top post was a “terrific” decision, joining the choir of bipartisan voices who back the president-elect’s latest Cabinet pick.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) vowed to oppose the appointment of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to defense secretary under the Trump administration, arguing that the U.S. military should be led by a civilian.
President-elect Donald Trump’s reported selection of Gen. James Mattis as the next secretary of defense is sending shockwaves through the defense community, where insiders are praising the retired Marine Corps general as a plain spoken realist who has the leadership ability to rebuild America’s military, according to conversations with multiple sources.
He commanded the first Marines to take the fight home to al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11. The first conventional U.S. troops into Afghanistan, these Marines made their way to Kandahar on the longest ship-to-shore assault in American history.