Majority Leader McConnell’s Statement on General James Mattis
'General Mattis has committed a lifetime to the study of strategy and operations, has led U.S. Central Command, and has commanded forces in Iraq, and Afghanistan. General Mattis is almost uniquely suited to advising the next President in how best to protect our country—at a time when expertise in strategy is a paramount requirement of our next Secretary of Defense.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement after meeting with President-elect Trump’s intended nominee for Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis:
“The next Commander in Chief will assume office at a time when significant threats to our national security are evident: the efforts and intentions of dissatisfied nations to expand respective regional spheres of influence, such as China, Russia and Iran, and North Korea’s willful efforts to pursue a long range ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. And fifteen years after September 11, 2001 America remains at war will al Qaeda, its affiliates and ISIL.
“Less evident is the daunting imperative for the next administration to craft a national security strategy which marries objectives to capabilities in pursuit of protecting our vital interests. This necessary task has been further complicated by the Obama administration’s current policies of drawing down America’s conventional forces to irresponsibly low levels.
“The nation is fortunate that President-elect Trump will nominate retired General James Mattis to meet these tasks, as his preparation for this mission is comprehensive. General Mattis has committed a lifetime to the study of strategy and operations, has led U.S. Central Command, and has commanded forces in Iraq, and Afghanistan. General Mattis is almost uniquely suited to advising the next President in how best to protect our country—at a time when expertise in strategy is a paramount requirement of our next Secretary of Defense.
“Early next year, the Senate shall consider the requirement in law that the Secretary of Defense not be appointed within seven years of relief from active duty. Civilian control of the military remains a central aspect of our federal republic, and over the course of our nation’s history much has occurred to bring scrutiny to the conduct of military affairs, not least of which is expansion of congressional oversight and the evolution of the all-volunteer force. General Mattis has lived a life of fidelity to our nation and its constitution. I have every confidence that he will continue to do so if confirmed by the Senate.”
Background: The Senate will consider nominations in a thorough and timely manner as it does its part to ensure a smooth transition between administrations. Additional details and scheduling announcements regarding confirmation hearings will be forthcoming from the committee of jurisdiction.
Related Issues: Nominations, America's Military, National Security