While much has been said about the dysfunction in Washington over the government shutdown and debt ceiling, legendary Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis (Ret.) explains how the mess is in no way limited to American shores — it’s a threat to national security.
Several days before this mess began, Mattis, who last served as commanding general of U.S. Central Command, had this to say:
“The example that America knows how to govern itself is one of the compelling aspects of our national security,” Mattis told Military Times. “And right now, we are not demonstrating that.”
The statement came as part of longer remarks that explained how the economic uncertainty and Partisan fighting are directly tethered to America’s military prowess:
We’re on a fiscally unsustainable path right now. The economy’s always been the engine for our national security. There’s no way that that our military power will not erode if a robust American economic revival is not part of the cards. And the dysfunction in Washington right now shows a country unable to govern itself — and that is worth more than 10 battleships to us.
An old Marine grunt, Mattis has led the United States in two wars. He is credited with spurning the Anbar awakening that helped turn the tide in the war in Iraq. He now serves in academia at both Stanford and Dartmouth.
He’s also known for speaking his mind.
Thomas Ricks claimed in a January piece for Foreign Policy that Mattis was ousted at CENTCOM because he bucked with Obama’s foreign policy team on how to handle Iran.
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