• Puzzling: Former U.S. General Has a Problem with … ‘America First’?

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    Surge Summary: Former Trump Defense Secretary Gen. (Ret.) James Mattis has publicly come out against the President’s “America First” approach to foreign policy – prompting questions about why he took a position in Donald Trump’s cabinet in the first place.

    by Gary Bauer 

    Recently, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis co-authored an opinion piece expressing his hope that “President Biden . . . will quickly revise the national security strategy to eliminate ‘America first’ from its contents.”  The op-ed goes on to accuse President Trump of undermining “international order,” “robust alliances,” and “international institutions.”

    Why on earth did Jim Mattis ever agree to serve in the Trump Administration if he didn’t agree with “America first”?  Sadly, I believe Gen. Mattis, like so many establishment figures, is either out of touch or deliberately misconstruing the president’s position.

    America first was not a call for isolationism.  It was a call for American leadership to be first in the world.

    Let’s be honest:  Some of our “international institutions” desperately needed shaking up, and Trump didn’t hesitate to do that!  (Here and here.)

    But far from undermining international order and robust alliances, President Trump strengthened our alliance with Israel, and got other Arab nations to recognize Israel.

    He got our NATO allies to boost defense spending in order to counter Russia.  He persuaded our European allies to join him in countering China.

    And am I the only one disturbed by the fact that a retired general doesn’t agree with the idea of “America first”?  What is it about “America first” that Mattis objects to?

    Being first in military might?  Being first economically?  Being first to develop a vaccine to neutralize a virus the communist Chinese unleashed on the world?

    Who does Mattis prefer to be first?

    Regrettably, he seems to be part of an establishment that thinks we should be the first to send our sons and daughters into conflicts in distant corners of the world without clear goals for victory.  That’s a policy few Americans embrace.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Originally posted here.

    Image: Adapted from: Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith – James N. Mattis – https://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/41414068714/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69194604

    Gary Lee Bauer is an American politician and activist, who served in the Reagan administration. He later became president of the Family Research Council and a senior vice president of Focus on the Family. In 2000, he participated in the Republican presidential contest.

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