It now appears likely that Gen. Mattis, a Marine Corps legend, will leave his post as head of America’s most important combatant command in March, several months earlier than planned. Ricks continues:
Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way — not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?
Inquiry along these lines apparently was not welcomed — at least in the CENTCOM view.
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