by General Jim Mattis
Hoover Institution, Thursday, February 26, 2015
Questions asked and answered: What are the key threats to our vital interests? Is our intelligence community fit for its expanding purpose? How do we urgently halt the damage caused by sequestration? More broadly, is the U.S. military being developed to fight across the spectrum of combat? Does our strategy and associated military planning take into account our nation’s increased need for allies? In reference to NATO and in light of the Russian violations of international borders, we must ask if the Alliance’s efforts have adjusted to the unfortunate and dangerous mode the Russian leadership has slipped into? As we attempt to restore stability to the state system and international order, a critical question will be: Is America good for its word?
ROBERT STEELE: I have always considered Jim Mattis to be among a small handful of individuals qualified to be a top defense leader — civilian or military — but this testimony of his gives me pause. As CEO Bob Seelerg of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide likes to say, “until you get the truth on the table, no matter how ugly it is, you are not in a position to deal with it.”
I give this testimony by Mattis a C- for clarity and integrity.
FACT: In the absence of a whole of government strategy or an honest government actually committed to the public interest, the Service chiefs fight for budget share, lie to Congress and each other and SecDef, and are in no way remotely training, equipping and organizing forces useful to the now and the future.
FACT: The infantry, 4% of the force that takes 80% of the casualties, gets 1% of the budget. The other 99% is pork irresponsibly spent.
FACT: Fraud, waste, and abuse in defense runs from 45% in weapons acquisition to 75% in Afghanistan.
FACT: We have 44 bases surrounding Iran, we unleashed the Shi’ites in Iraq by irresponsibly breaking that country, we have been attacking Iran by other means for decades, we have been stupid and dishonorable about allowing Israel to lie and game the Iranian threat — Iran is not a threat. It was the US that restored the Shah and destroyed democracy in Iran.
FACT: NATO is a war-mongering machine that exists to sell US weapons to dictators and corrupt regimes without regard to either the US public interest or the local public interest.
FACT: If we closed down all overseas bases and brought our troops and their wallets home, we could not only cut defense by 30% as the president has asked, but also create a 450-ship Navy, a long-haul Air Force, and an air-mobile Army competent at Close Air Support (CAS and the A-10 need to be taken away from the Air Force, the most dishonest of the services).
There is much of value in the questions that are being asked, but Jim Mattis needs to have the courage to ask the fundamental questions, not skirt around the real issues.
I have two articles easily found online, both at Counterpunch, “Intelligence for the President — AND Everyone Else,” and “On Defense Intelligence — Seven Strikes.” I also have a post at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, search for the title, Vincent Stewart: D/DIA 1st USMC 1st Jamaican-American, Starts with Seven Strikes (& Nine Specific Senior Executive Enemies in Place) on Day One, and see the graphics there.
The greatest threat to the USA today is the lack of integrity of our electoral process, our government, and hence our economy and our society. A Pogo moment — Washington is in enemy hands — and so, evidently, is Stanford.