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Op-Ed Takes Aim at Mattis

Active Military
Active Military
Veteran News
Veteran News
October 2, 2018
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Of all the outrageously poor decisions people can make in life, why...why would you take aim on Secretary of Defense James Mattis? An Op-Ed published on The Hill's website by opinion contributor Melanie Sisson did exactly that regarding the issues of women in combat. According to Melanie,

"Mattis is not entitled to espouse his opinion on this issue. To the contrary, as the individual charged with implementing Department of Defense (DoD) policy on female combat integration, he has the explicit responsibility of leading change, not only in practice but also in culture."

First off, he is the Secretary of Defense, who has a long and storied career of leading men in combat. If any Defense Secretary has ever been entitled to his opinion on large sweeping changes in the Department of Defense, it is James Mattis. The man has literally dedicated his entire life to the art of warfare. He reads on the subject more than any other General or Secretary of Defense ever. He is more experienced in ground combat and all that it entails than likely any Secretary of Defense, ever.The man has the educational, experiential, and empirical background to make such calls. He is not there to tow the line of policy, he is there to evaluate if the policy is beneficial and then upon that evaluation, proceed or put the kibosh on the poor policy.We understand that with Melanie's background in the intelligence community and her role at Stimson Center Defense Strategy and Planning Program, she feels that there is some weight behind her words. As an infantry Marine who was lead by James Mattis as I trekked the houses and streets of Ramadi circa 2005, I feel that my word carries some weight as well. I personally trust the man with my life. I trust his opinions and his judgment when it comes to fighting.We get that it is a controversial subject. We understand that there are numerous factors that go into such a sweeping change in the posture and makeup of our military when it comes to women in ground combat roles. However, it is downright foolish to assert that the Secretary of Defense should not utilize the unparalleled wealth of knowledge at his disposal to put American forces in a position to close with and destroy the enemy as efficiently as possible.For shame that someone within such a prestigious organization and with a prestigious background of her own, would feel that her background entitles her to an opinion that would influence policy, then in the same sentence, blast the notion of Mattis' opinion influencing policy, despite his overwhelming and vast expertise on the subject. You may not agree with his stances and that's fine. But his opinions are based on real-world application and decades of devoted study.

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