His outspoken attitude will get him in trouble with confirmation. Just watch. They will dredge up some of his statements and use them against him.
He has ruffled some DOD/DC feathers ...
Ironically, however, part of Mattiss appeal to many people may be the things he has said that landed him in trouble.
In late 2001, after leading Marines into southern Afghanistan, he famously said that we own a piece of Afghanistan, prompting defense officials to cringe.
In 2005, he said that it was fun to shoot some people, referring to insurgents in Afghanistan. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didnt wear a veil, Mattis said. You know, guys like that aint got no manhood left anyway. So its a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Mattis got into hot water for those comments, as well.
But Gates said Thursday that those incidents are in the past and that he is comfortable with the lessons that Mattis took away from the episodes.
Obviously, in the wake of the Rolling Stone interview, we discussed this kind of thing. And I have every confidence that that Gen. Mattis will be will respond to questions and speak publicly about the matters for which he is responsible in an entirely appropriate way, Gates said.
But Mattis also is known for understanding the nuances of counterinsurgency, embracing the mantra early on when he led forces in western Iraq that American troops can be no better friend, no worse enemy.
But after the McChrystal thing blew up, Obama and Gates had to swallow their pride and ask him to take on the CENTCOM job after moving Petraeus to Afghanistan. There's no way Mattis is going to boss Petraeus around, so I imagine that deals have been struck with both generals and with the House and Senate Armed Services committees to get themon the job ASAP so that they can pull Obama's fat out of the fire.