Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Mattis to CENTCOM

Marine Gen. James Mattis is going to take over the Central Command post from Petraeus, Defense Secretary Gates just announced. This is the best news I have heard in a long time. Just when I think Gates has lost his touch, he revives my faith by doing something like this. Readers of this blog will ...

Kris Connor/Getty Images
Kris Connor/Getty Images
Kris Connor/Getty Images

Marine Gen. James Mattis is going to take over the Central Command post from Petraeus, Defense Secretary Gates just announced.

This is the best news I have heard in a long time. Just when I think Gates has lost his touch, he revives my faith by doing something like this. Readers of this blog will know that I think Mattis is terrific.

Marine Gen. James Mattis is going to take over the Central Command post from Petraeus, Defense Secretary Gates just announced.

This is the best news I have heard in a long time. Just when I think Gates has lost his touch, he revives my faith by doing something like this. Readers of this blog will know that I think Mattis is terrific.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.