Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Mattis Shows How to Handle a Reporter’s Question About His Religious Beliefs

Secretary of Defense James Mattis comments on religion.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis takes questions from reporters. (Department of Defense)
Secretary of Defense James Mattis takes questions from reporters. (Department of Defense)
Secretary of Defense James Mattis takes questions from reporters. (Department of Defense)

 

From a Defense Department transcript of an exchange on Nov. 16:

Q: Mr. Secretary, I would be remiss — I’m with the Christian Broadcasting Network, sir. Talk to me a little bit about your faith and how it’s shaped who you are and your goals, and also about how you make decisions.

 

From a Defense Department transcript of an exchange on Nov. 16:

Q: Mr. Secretary, I would be remiss — I’m with the Christian Broadcasting Network, sir. Talk to me a little bit about your faith and how it’s shaped who you are and your goals, and also about how you make decisions.

A: SEC. MATTIS: That’s something I stay pretty private about.

Q: I understand.

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

Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.
Oleg Salyukov salutes to soldiers during Russia’s Victory Day parade.

Stop Falling for Russia’s Delusions of Perpetual Victory

The best sources on the war are the Ukrainians on the ground.

A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia
A fire rages at the Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defense Forces in Tver, Russia

Could Sabotage Stop Putin From Using the Nuclear Option?

If the West is behind mysterious fires in Russia, the ongoing—but deniable—threat could deter Putin from escalating.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received by his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo, in Mombasa, Kenya.

While America Slept, China Became Indispensable

Washington has long ignored much of the world. Beijing hasn’t.

A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation
A bulldozer demolishes an illegal structure during a joint anti-encroachment drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation

The World Ignored Russia’s Delusions. It Shouldn’t Make the Same Mistake With India.

Hindu nationalist ideologues in New Delhi are flirting with a dangerous revisionist history of South Asia.