The retired Marine general who was tapped by the Trump administration to resolve a dispute with Qatar and develop what's been dubbed an "Arab NATO" has resigned from his position, Task & Purpose has confirmed.
Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.) told Task & Purpose that he "just could not get the parties out there to engage in some sort of mediation process that we offered, and I felt that I couldn't do it much further." He previously told CBS that regional leaders in the dispute between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states were unwilling to agree to a "viable mediation effort" to resolve the ongoing spat.
Besides the Qatar issue, Zinni had also been tapped by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to spearhead the Middle East Strategic Alliance — a security agreement for Arab states similar in design to NATO. The retired four-star general told Task & Purpose his role was to "get the concept rolling" and since there were now personnel at the National Security Council and Defense Department working on it, it no longer needed his involvement.
Zinni took the job of special envoy for the State Department at the request of Mattis — a long-time friend and fellow four-star general — and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Both have since exited the administration; Tillerson was fired and replaced with Mike Pompeo in March 2018, while Mattis resigned in protest in December.
When asked whether his resignation was connected to Mattis' resignation, Zinni said that he "was dissapointed by what happened, but it didn't really affect [my] resignation."
"Jim Mattis is a great friend of mine and he was the right guy for the job," Zinni said, adding that, although Mattis first approached him to take the envoy role, Zinni had been getting "plenty of support from [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo and [National Security Advisor] John Bolton."
A former commander of U.S. Central Command, Zinni had previously served as a special envoy during the Bush administration to work on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. He was offered the job of U.S. Ambassador to Iraq during the Obama administration but the offer was abruptly withdrawn without explanation.
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.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested on Jan. 29, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina.)
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elyse Ping Medvigy conducts a call-for-fire during an artillery shoot south of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2014. Medvigy, a fire support officer assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is the first female company fire support officer to serve in an infantry brigade combat team supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston (Photo by U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston)
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.