Former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis dismissed Sen. Paul Rand's, R-Ky., criticism of his military strategy in Afghanistan, telling Fox News' "The Brian Kilmeade Show" on Wednesday the senator's claims he supported perpetual war in the Middle East are false.
"The idea that any seasoned officer wants endless war is contradicted," Mattis, who appeared on the show to promote his new book "Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead," said. "I think you'll find the people most reluctant to go into a war are seasoned officers."
Mattis said the strategy regarding Afghanistan should be to concentrate on tactical training for the local population to defend their own country and stressed it would be unwise to "pull all the troops out in one fell swoop and repeat exactly [the mistakes] we did in Iraq."
The former defense secretary said, "We may not like globalization, that's not a policy, that's a reality we have to deal with. And terrorism is an ambient threat that's going to be with us for the indefinite future."
Explaining American policy in Syria, Mattis said, "We were in a war . . . it was to make certain that we destroyed the ISIS caliphate and it was to drive the Syrian Civil War into a UN-brokered peace in Geneva."
He said, however, Moscow's "regrettable veto marginalized the UN process, but we did have a solution there."
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