Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, May 14, 2015:
WASHINGTON — Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis told attendees at The Heritage Foundation Wednesday he is concerned the United States is not firmly standing by her global allies.
Mattis replaced General David Petraeus as commander of U.S. Central Command in August 2010 and retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 after 41 years of military service.
Gen. Mattis recalled a meeting he had with the King Abdullah II of Jordan, when the French and British were planning to leave Afghanistan and Mattis confirmed their departure to the king.
“I said, ‘Yeah, that’s right your majesty.’ And he said, ‘Well, let me make sure you understand that our Jordanian troops will be there with you until the last American soldier comes home.’”
Mattis paused for a moment and explained, “You cannot buy allies like that. The way you get allies like that is if you want a friend when you’re in trouble, you need to be a friend when they’re in trouble, and we are not sending that message.”
He went further saying, “I was getting asked the same question in Cairo and Riad as I was being asked in Tel Aviv, and that’s darn near impossible to align them. How much have we aligned them? I had a foreign minister of an Arab country make a point to me when I started wearing this, instead of a uniform.”
“He said, ‘We, today, have more in common with Israel’s foreign policy than we have with America’s.’ That is not a good situation for stability and anyone who wants peace and prosperity and [to] turn over a better world to our children, that is not something we can be proud of,” the retired general noted.
Mattis believes the way the United States is handling global affairs is “not the way the greatest generation dealt with the world around them, and it’s one that we’re going to have to learn to adapt to, or we’re going to end up in a situation where we’re ashamed of what we’re turning over.”
“But leaving allies adrift and having to accommodate less pleasing allies, this is not something that is in America’s best interest,” he said.
When asked by The Daily Caller about his thoughts on the Obama administration’s handling of the Islamic State, he responded, “The president came out and said we didn’t have a strategy on this. I would only endorse what he said. Honesty is honesty. I think the president’s recognized the failing there, and I think if we do not do something to humiliate them and cause havoc, their recruiting and their fundraising will continue apace, so you’ve got to hit them with a shockwave.”
Mattis added, “That’s not just military, and it’s not just covert. It’s a whole lot of things. But again, it goes back to — you’ve got to ask the strategic questions. Is political Islam in our best interests? Let me define it. It’s political Islam as practiced by the mullahs in Tehran for the past 30 years. That’s on the Shia side. It’s political Islam as practiced by the Muslim Brothers, the brothers in Cairo for a year. And if it’s not in our best interest, what are we going to do to come up with that coherent strategy?”
Gen. Mattis speaks at about 13 min. into the video. Well worth your time to listen: