Sources say top CENTCOM general being booted for asking too many questions

Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis

Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis

It seems U.S. Central Command’s top official has been pushed out of his position for doing his job too well. Could Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis be the first casualty in the dismantling of the military?

Thomas Ricks, author of “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq,” is saying that “Mattis is being pushed out of CENTCOM for asking too many questions about a possible strike on Iran,” Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin reported Monday evening.

Although Ricks said he likes President Obama, he told Fox News he doesn’t trust the president’s picks for his national security team.

“They are people who will not recognize it when they screw up, and they will treat as enemies anyone who tells them that they are doing that,” Ricks said. “I am worried.”

Perhaps Ricks has reason to be worried.

In a Jan. 7 New York Times op-ed, columnist David Brooks accused the president of choosing Chuck Hagel as defense chief for one reason: to dismantle the military in order to free up funds for social programs, particularly the underfunded Obamacare and Medicare programs.

Recounting the “measly” 10-year, $600 billion tax hike Democrats got in the latest fiscal go-round, and surmising that additional increases were unlikely while health care costs continue to climb, Brooks wrote:

So far, defense budgets have not been squeezed by the Medicare vise. But that is about to change. Oswald Spengler didn’t get much right, but he was certainly correct when he told European leaders that they could either be global military powers or pay for their welfare states, but they couldn’t do both.

Europeans, who are ahead of us in confronting that decision, have chosen welfare over global power. European nations can no longer perform many elemental tasks of moving troops and fighting. As late as the 1990s, Europeans were still spending 2.5 percent of G.D.P. on defense. Now that spending is closer to 1.5 percent, and, amid European malaise, it is bound to sink further.

Here’s something else to consider. Sequestration will gut $500 billion from the defense budget if substantial cuts aren’t made in other areas by March 1. The president’s inaugural speech made it clear that it wasn’t coming from Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Because these are the programs that comprise the lion’s share of the federal budget, it really limits the options.

Given all the above, why choose Hagel as hatchet man?

“If a Democratic president is going to slash defense, he probably wants a Republican at the Pentagon to give him political cover,” Brooks wrote, “and he probably wants a decorated war hero to boot.”

Brooks could be right. Hagel’s marching orders may be to dismantle what is often referred to as the most capable military force in history.

The type of adventure that gave rise to General Mattis’ “Mad Dog” nickname was one recorded by Ricks when he accompanied the general into Iraq. Mattis gathered a group of tribal leaders and told them, “I come in peace, I didn’t bring artillery. But I am pleading with you, with tears in my eyes, if you f**k with me, I’ll kill you all.”

If Brooks’ assessment is correct — that Hagel was appointed to significantly reduce our military capabilities– there’s probably little room in the Obama administration for a Marine General known as “Mad Dog,” and that’s the pity. The military needs realists. The military needs more “Mad Dogs.”


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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Sireta Neighbors

    We will lose our ability to protect our country. This will all backfire BIG TIME. Of course, by that time Obama will no longer be in office …… or maybe it won't take as long as that. He's going to have a lot to answer for.

  • KJ

    We'll never lose the ability to protect our country – period. We have more small arms in the hands of civilians in the United States than most other nations' militaries – and a great, great number of us are veterans who know how to use them. A military incursion into the United States would be a suicide mission for any foreign force.

    What we may lose is our ability to project military power abroad – and that would be both a blessing and a curse.

  • Tommy Fore

    I'm afraid it's not the foreign forces we have to worry about!

  • Dale

    The military should overthrow the obama administration and set up a new Conservative government, make liberalism and Democraps illegal and throw all those Democraps and the members of the lame street media in prison.

  • KB Cook

    Our best recourse is through the local and state elected representatives building up the momentum to push the big issues up the ladder to the federal level. It's clear that if we don't impeach and prosecute the traitors among us, we will spend the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of future generations quite badly in our time of citizen-stewardship of our founding documents. WAKE UP AMERICAN!

  • willard

    WAKE UP AMERICANS WITHOUT A STRONG ARMY WE ARE SCREWED THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TOO US IF WE CAN'T GET THE LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DON'T WAKE UP AND START DOING THERE JOBS THAT THEY ARE PAYED FOR WE WILL LIKE CUBA THEY NEED TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK

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