US Central Command is the joint-services headquarters that is responsible for, among other areas, the Mideast and the war being waged there. Given that virtually all of the combat action in the area is being waged by the Army and Marines, it is totally appropriate that CENTCOM be commanded by either a Soldier or a Marine.
Well, SecDef Gates has chosen Marine general James Mattis to replace Gen. Petraeus at Central Command. By reputation, Mattis is first class. Most put him in the same class as Petraeus—a man with world-class smarts. Combine that with his extensive hands-on experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then there’s his nickname: “Chaos.”
It’s worthy of note that Mattis oversaw our military’s victory over Al Qaeda in Iraq and the pacification of Anbar Province by skillfully implementing the USMC motto: “The Marines – your best friend, your worst enemy.” Mideasterners, especially the ones in that region, really understand that philosophy—less is seen as weak. Gates made a great choice. Now let’s see if Mattis and Petraeus are allowed to win or if they’ll be nit-picked to death as McChrystal was. Stay tuned.