U.S. Department of Defense

Why Trump needs James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

Why Trump needs James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

When President-elect Donald Trump announced that James N. Mattis was his choice to lead the Department of Defense, what seemed to delight him most was the retired general’s Iraq war nickname: “Mad Dog.”

“Mad Dog Mattis!” Trump told a post-election rally. “Mad Dog. He is great, he is great…. They say he is the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have.”

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to hear a lot about Mattis’s prowess as a combat commander and his salty exhortations to the troops he led.

“Be professional, be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet,” he told his Marines. (A...