President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday night that he would be nominating retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his pick for secretary of Defense.
Trump made the announcement at his first post-election rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday evening, hours after The Washington Post first reported the Defense pick.
“But we’re not announcing until Monday so don’t tell anybody,” Trump told the crowd.
Mattis has balked at sending military women into combat – and suggested their close contact with male soldiers in the trenches "is not setting them up for success," Military.com reported.
The retired Marine general's opposition to women in combat and to scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, as well as his hard line on post traumatic stress syndrome, could set him up for a stormy Senate confirmation hearing, the outlet reported.
Citing speeches Mattis has given to the Marines' Memorial Club in San Francisco, the outlet reported Mattis has called the U.S. military is a "national treasure," saying it's inevitable women would want to serve.
"The problem is that in the atavistic primate world" of close-quarters combat, "the idea of putting women in there is not setting them up for success," he has said, Military.com reported.
And he said whether women soldiers could meet physical requirements is "not the point."
Commanders must consider "what makes us most combat effective when you jump into that room and you're doing what we call intimate killing," he said. "It would only be someone who never crossed the line of departure into close encounters fighting that would ever even promote such an idea" as putting women into close combat.
He also has said he's concerned about "Eros" – the Greek god of love – when young men and women live in close quarters in combat situations.
"I don't care if you go anywhere in history where you would find that this has worked," he said of putting "healthy young men and women together and we expect them to act like little saints."
Mattis' confirmation hearings will be before the Senate Armed Services Committee – which has six women on the panel, Military.com reported.
Mattis could also get flak for his opposition to scrapping the Iran nuclear pact, which President-elect Donald Trump has called "a bad deal."
"It was not a mistake to engage on the nuclear issue" with Iran, Mattis has said, Military.com reported – adding that the deal "was not without some merit" and "there's no going back, absent a clear violation" of the pact.
He's also differed on post-traumatic stress and its treatment in the military and in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"We have such a fixation on disease and disorder that troops coming home have to be told, actually have to be told, 'You don't have to be messed up,'" Mattis has said, Military.com reported.
"My concern is we've got so many people who think they're messed up now, or think they should be, that the ones who really need help are being submerged in the broader population and so the ones who need the help the most aren't getting the attention they need to be getting," he said.
"There's no room for woe-is-me, for self-pity, or for cynicism" in the military, Mattis said. "Further, there is no room for military people, including our veterans, to see themselves as victims even if so many of our countrymen are prone to relish that role. In the military, we make choices. We're not victims."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.