Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis yesterday appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to head U.S. Central Command.
Mattis, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, explained the need for continued military, civilian and regional cooperation to successfully drive out extremism.
“The wars we are fighting require highly integrated military efforts from the highest to the lowest levels,” Mattis said. “If confirmed, I will make every effort to work closely with civilian and military leaders charged with leading our operations, and to ensure they are fully resourced in a coherent and comprehensive manner.”
If confirmed, Mattis explained, his top priorities would include managing efforts in Afghanistan, pulling out troops in Iraq, enhancing regional partnerships to combat extremists and carrying out CENTCOM’s mission.
“The stakes there are high,” he said. “The military component in our strategy in Afghanistan is sound, and requires firm execution. I support it fully.”
“I believe that by steadfastly executing our strategy, we will win in Afghanistan,” he added. “Nothing about the mission will be easy. We recognize that achieving our goals in Afghanistan requires also the enduring commitment of the international community.”
Mattis has 38 years of service and has an extensive resume, including many commanding posts. He is former commander of the Marine forces in Afghanistan in 2001 and commander of the 1st Marine Division in Iraq in 2003. He was also commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
He is currently commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command
“Having been nominated for this position, I am extremely mindful of the extraordinary privilege it’s been to serve for over 38 years, alongside America’s finest young men and women,” he said. “I will hold our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines foremost in my thoughts.”
“I will also provide my best professional military assessment to this committee and to our national security leadership,” he added.