Here's a conversation I had recently with a guy I've known a long time who works at the Pentagon. No great news, but a whiff of the current atmosphere.
Hi! How does the Pentagon nowadays feel differently from the Obama and Bush eras?
My perspective has been different in each period, so I don't know if the context is different or just my seat. I was amazed in early Obama years about lack of interest/time/discussion about ongoing wars inside the Building. The scale of fighting is smaller but the time and research on going fights is higher. A discernible difference I observe is the intensity of concern over chances of major war, readiness challenges from constrained resources, and the larger pressures on security from China, NK, and Russia. The time devoted to Alliance management and relationships also appears much higher.
But in my prior jobs I was into programs/resources. So I was more concerned with budget cycle not external strategy.
My impression is that Mattis has conveyed to people around him to be respectful and professional when dealing with the White House, but not to give up any ground unnecessarily. Is that right?
Mr. Mattis has always set and enforced a climate of decorum in his staff. WRT [With respect to] to WH, the President has delegated authority to his Cabinet. I sense the NSC would like to claw back a lot of the authority and deference the President affords to confirmed Cabinet members.
How does Mattis keep his temper when dealing with people at the White House? Did he ever lose it over the objections to his personnel picks?
I have never observed any problems over personnel picks, I think that was early in process.
We've never before had a White House chief of staff who is a former subordinate to the person who is now the SecDef. How is the Kelly-Mattis relationship doing? How has it changed?
I have noobservations about C/S interacting with the SecDef.
We haven't seen a lot of McMaster-Mattis joint appearances. Why is that? Are they rubbing each other the wrong way?
I've seen them together a lot at WH, six times or so, photos abound, but then I can't recall Susan Rice or Condi Rice appearing with SecDef Gates in external forums either. Perhaps a Reagan Forum??? I think your impression is factually founded, but entirely because Mattis doesn't appear anywhere, or do interviews. He has a pretty low profile for a SecDef.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
A Coalition convoy stops to test fire their M2 machine guns and MK19 Grenade Launcher in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in the Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, Nov. 22, 2018 (U.S. Army/Sgt. Matthew Crane)
BEIRUT (Reuters) - A suicide bomber drove his car into a checkpoint in northeastern Syria on Monday, injuring several soldiers of Kurdish-led forces during a joint convoy with U.S. allies, locals said.
Video game company Blizzard Entertainment, which creates blockbuster franchises like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, has stood behind veteran employment for years. On top of hiring veterans, they support many related programs, including Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty Endowment. Blizzard's goal there is to help veterans find careers by supporting organizations that prepare veterans for the job market.
A combat patrol advanced three miles north of Lucca (furthermost point occupied by American troops) to contact an enemy machine gun nest in September 1944 as part of the Italian Campaign (DoD/National Archives and Records Administration)
World War II Army veteran Milton Miller says he has never forgotten an act of cowardice by his platoon leader.
It happened in the Alban Hills south of Rome following the Allied Forces' amphibious invasion on the Italian beaches of Anzio in January 1944.