- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given the problems facing the Marine Corps, it seems to me that a smart move would be for President Obama to make James Mattis the Marine commandant. He has only been retired for a short while, and he has an impeccable reputation for integrity. The move would be both popular with Marines and the right thing. That’s a solid combination. And it would be the right thing to do by Mattis, too.
Meanwhile, a recently resigned Marine captain writes something that I find stunning about a service that prides itself on its discipline and cohesion:
I’ve been watching my former Commandant’s troubles with a combination of shame and grotesque humor. I have nothing groundbreaking to share, just an anecdote. At my last Marine Corps ball, this past November, after returning from one of the last full-battalion deployments to Helmand, I watched (again with half frown, half stupid grin) 900 Marines and some of their dates actually boo Gen. Amos when he appeared in his annual video…. this is just one story, but I’d have to guess he’s the first commandant to be mocked and hated by his own Marines to such a degree. I resigned my commission because of my complete lack of faith in the Corps’ administrative processes, and I definitely will not be disappointed when Gen. Amos departs, but at this point it’s all just gotten embarrassing.
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| The Complex |
Dan Lamothe is an award-winning military journalist and war correspondent. He has written for Marine Corps Times and the Military Times newspaper chain since 2008, traveling the world and writing extensively about the Afghanistan war both from Washington and the war zone. He also has reported from Norway, Spain, Germany, the Republic of Georgia and while underway with the U.S. Navy. Among his scoops, Lamothe reported exclusively in 2010 that the Marine Corps had recommended that Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer receive the Medal of Honor. This year, he was part of a team of journalists that exposed senior Marine Corps leaders' questionable involvement in legal cases, and then covering it up. A Pentagon investigation is underway in those cases.| Report |