Trump names James Mattis for defense chief

Gen. James Mattis would need exemption from Congress to assume helm at Pentagon

Trump names James Mattis for defense chief

World Bulletin / News Desk

President-elect Donald Trump will choose retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to helm the Pentagon, according to multiple reports Thursday. 

The Washington Post newspaper first reported the news and said a public announcement is expected early next week.

But a Trump spokesman, Jason Miller tweeted Thursday afternoon that "no decision has been made yet with regard to Secretary of Defense."

Mattis left the Pentagon less than four years ago after commanding the U.S.'s Middle East command, commonly referred to as Centcom. 

During the course of his more than four-decade career in the Corps, Mattis strung together an impressive military record that spanned the First Gulf War and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. 

But with such a short gap from active duty he will need a legal exemption from Congress to assume the Defense Department's top spot.

U.S. law stipulates that defense secretaries are required to have at least seven years between active duty and their appointment. Congress has granted a similar exemption only once, to iconic Army Gen. George C. Marshall, the newspaper reported. 

During his time in the Marines, Mattis developed a reputation as a valued strategic mind who was also an aggressive military leader, earning him the monikers "Warrior Monk" and "Mad Dog Mattis". 

He led U.S. operations in Fallujah in 2004, which were some of the fiercest fights U.S. forces faced in Iraq. His call sign for the operation was "chaos".

Mattis is known to be an advocate for a more aggressive U.S. military posture abroad, particularly when it comes to Iran, much like his prospective commander-in-chief. 

Mattis previously served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for transformation before taking the top spot at Central Command. 

Some have speculated Mattis was forced out of the post after clashing with Obama administration officials about the U.S.'s Iran policy. He left Centcom five months early, and has declined to comment on the matter. 

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Last Mod: 02 Aralık 2016, 08:14
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