Well, strap yourselves in, it's a long one.That was certainly tumultuous. SecDef Mattis is out. Our troops are coming home. So we've got what many view to be a horrendous move and what many of us view to be a great move and there is an awkwardness that comes from disagreeing and agreeing with both these moves at the same time. I too was upset that Mattis was out, I was also glad that we're leaving...sort of.For too long we've been defining winning as nation-building and/or keeping a larger enemy at bay. High and lofty commanders intents that speak of the morality and humane efforts made in modern warfare. These ideas about warfare that seek to turn your average private into a high-level diplomat based on his actions abroad. We personally don't see how making the average 19-year-old carry that burden could be a bad idea (sarcasm).When it comes to winning, we have been focused on a different type of "winning". We've been focused on nation-building and being humane. We've been focused on making sure the rest of the world is cool with how we kill folks. Now call me crazy, but last time I checked, these other countries weren't paying my bills or putting food on my table, so in the wise words of the "hood"; If you're not feeding me, financing me or f***ing me...I don't really give a shit about your opinion. And not once did we see any French courtesans roaming Hurricane Point or Camp Ramadi.I realize when it comes down to that kind of talk regarding our allies, that me saying that might be seen as what some would call a dick move. But in my opinion, allowing our warriors to suffer the brunt of the casualties (Wounded in Action and Killed in Action) and then dictating how we fight, is a dick move too, so I don't really give a shit. Same goes for politicians. The sooner everyone remembers that war is violent and shitty and there is no way to have a "good clean war" the better.In Syria, we were focused on keeping both Russia and Iran at bay. Ugh. If we hate them so much, why don't we just fight already? Nothing is worse than the gratuitous sexual tension of "will they or won't they" when it comes to warfare between near peer level adversaries (Russia) and some asshole that has been begging for a fight for the last 30-40 years (Iran). In Afghanistan and Iraq, we were focused on nation-building. Iraq is...like sort of ok we guess...(not really) and in Afghanistan, we've welcomed the Taliban to the negotiating table as we get ready to leave.None of those are what I would call a win in my book. If you'd like to know what a win in my book looks like, look no further than Japan and Germany post WW2. Unconditional surrender. We killed so many of them and crippled their ability to wage war so much so that there was literally nothing they could do other than to give up and meet our demands or suffer egregious death at our hands.So on that front, I say this. Win or go home. My own vanity doesn't want to be remembered like Gunny Highway according to that dick supply Major in "Heartbreak Ridge" when he called them 0-1-1. Zero wins one loss and one tie. I'll be dead ass honest, I don't want GWOT to be a loss and that's my own personal pride and vanity. I didn't watch good men die and get maimed just to have us remembered as getting our asses kicked. I also don't want more good men to die and get maimed if we're not going to go for the win. I want to go down in the history books as a winner. For what we did in Ramadi in 05, we killed a lot of bad guys. What my battalion did in Sangin after I left, we killed basically everyone...I don't want history to remember the United States as a loser.So I'll say I'm both sad that we're leaving and glad because if our will isn't in it to win it, we shouldn't hang around if we're just going to half-ass it. Whole ass it or GTFO.When it comes to Jim Mattis. Look, despite the one flaw that some SF guys hold against the man, he has had a rather successful military career of leading men and winning on the battlefield. Be polite, be professional but have a plan to kill everyone you meet, right? The story of Mattis at Christmas time is still one of our favorites. The truth of the matter with Mattis is this (at least according to me).In my opinion, if anyone could turn the tide and take us from the half-assed warfare we've been waging to making us violent and lethal as hell again, it was Mattis. So I'm sad to see him go. All internet propaganda aside, the man was universally revered because he knew what the f*** he was about, and that was making enemies of this nation die on the battlefield.Wow, this has been long. and maybe a bit convoluted. Time for closing points.We've done nothing but nation build or hold our enemies at bay for the last almost 20 years, so if we're just going to keep doing that, we should come home. Mattis was probably going to change that mindset, so losing him was a bummer. I highly doubt the guy that said you should always have a knife with you in case there is cake or you need to stab someone in the throat, was going to be less than violent when it came to our adversaries. Only time will tell when it comes to these decisions and I hope none of them come back to bite us in the ass.