Monday, December 24, 2018

On Mattis

First of all, this Christmas Eve, regardless of your confession I wish all peace and happiness. 

As we are all busy, I'll just cut to the chase.

Last Thursday I offered a few points on Syria, and I guess I should make a few points about Secretary Mattis's departure as well.

Slightly modified from some comments I made SEPCOR, here is the Executive Summary:

We're all going to be just fine. I've been a Mattis guy since 2001, but SECDEF is a position for a politician, not a Field Marshall. Even though I have 100% trust in him for any position he may find himself in, Mattis was never quite well suited for the position of SECDEF as it was designed. He had to get a waiver for a reason. I am still a Mattis guy and I wish him well.

As for who should replace him, anyone who can get a nod from the Senate and will continue to promote what Trump has been doing and I have been honking about since Bush43: 
(1) decouple from being the world's policeman, 
(2) get our NATO allies to pull their fair share of the load. 2% isn't exactly asking for a lot.

Again, we're fine. 
- We are mostly in the Middle East due to strategic inertia and to tidy up problems generally of our own creation. We don't need their oil anymore. 
- While our debt issues are huge, we are in better shape than any other major nation on the planet. When the music stops, the world will groan, but we will hurt less than almost anyone else. 
- We feed ourselves. 
- Our entire hemisphere is of zero threat to us. 
- The only real global challenger we have will be China  and we have absolutely ZERO reason to have a land dispute with them on mainland Asia. Any conflict will - if we are smart about it - be mostly an air and sea conflict for us, with any land force hopefully limited to islands.

What we don't need is an expanded universe of nations and regions we are garrisoning in order to secure their peace at the cost of increasing the threat of possible war for us over things that are none of our business.

Specifically WRT Syria, I've said it a hundred and I'll say it a million times; if it were so important to secure - the area of the West most negatively impacted by the Syrian civil war would have a string of divisions lining the eastern banks of the Euphrates - the Europeans. You see a sprinkling of French there (the former colonial power), but that is about it.

It is only our circus and our monkeys if we stay long enough. Time to go. If we need to come back and break more things and kill more people for a few months, then fine - we'll do it.

I can argue the other side of the argument as well ... but I frankly don't care to any more. I save that energy for IRQ and AFG.

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