General James “Mad Dog” Mattis was officially sworn-in as President Trump’s Secretary of Defense today.
The retired Marine general praised U.S. intelligence agencies and shared a primary goal for his time in the Pentagon—strength ties with allies overseas.
This comes immediately following the Washington Post’s obtaining a 3-page executive order drafted by the Trump Administration which requires Mattis as defense secretary to spend 30 days reviewing the military’s “readiness” in a war with the Islamic State and “other forms of Islamic terror”, in addition to numerous other important military capabilities (via The Washington Post).
Check it out (via Yahoo! News):
“Together with the intelligence community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation,” Mattis said in a statement to the Department of Defense — tipping his cap to the agencies that Trump has sharply criticized as they investigate claims of Russian interference in the US election. “Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future.”
“Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances,” he said, a contrast to Trump’s recent branding of the NATO military alliance as “obsolete.”
Lawmakers disregarded precedence and confirmed Mattis despite his four-year-old retirement.
It’s customary for the Secretary of Defense to be a seven-year retiree of the military.
It appears Mattis will be a smart balance for President Trump, however. The President acknowledged in an interview with ABC’s David Muir earlier this week that while he supports waterboarding and other forms of torture, his understanding was that General Mattis did not.
The President said he’d follow the general’s lead on all military issues, including the use of torture.