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Commentary

If Mattis Cares about His Reputation, He’ll Resign Now



Although Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has been regarded as the “adult in the room” in President Trump’s cabinet, the only way he can preserve his honor and the honor of U.S. military service personnel is to resign his post. After Mattis’s recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to inspect troops sent there by the President—in a pre-midterm election stunt to purportedly defend against an insidious immigrant caravan that allegedly contained Middle Eastern terrorists and hardened criminals—Mattis has egg on his face for lending his formidable reputation to help justify this misuse of active-duty U.S. forces.

Even Mattis had to stammer out an evasive answer when asked by a skeptical soldier to explain the goal of the troops’ mission: “Short term, get the obstacles in. Long term, it’s somewhat to be determined.”

He also said a bit condescendingly that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s Border Patrol would “do all the work, but we’re standing behind them as a confidence builder, and that sort of thing.”



Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute. Dr. Eland is a graduate of Iowa State University and received an M.B.A. in applied economics and Ph.D. in national security policy from George Washington University. He spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.


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