I was assured that when former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ book “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead” arrived, that what he had to say would be devastating to the Trump Administration. But while the book doesn’t recount any conversations with Trump, it does describe how then-Vice President Joe Biden was so adamant about pulling troops out of Iraq that he refused to listen to people who knew more about the situation and warned him of the dangers.
Mattis writes that he liked Biden and “found him an admirable and amiable man,” but that when he’d made up his mind, he refused to listen to any more information. Just as Mattis warned him, once all US troops were pulled out, the Iraq prime minister began targeting Sunnis. Mattis writes, “Iraq slipped back into escalating violence. It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion,” and it led to ISIS being able to move in and take over…“It would take many years and tens of thousands of casualties, plus untold misery for millions of innocents, to break ISIS’s geographic hold. All of this was predicted — and preventable.”
This won’t be news to those of us who lived through eight years of Obama/Biden, but it is a good reminder that returning to those days is also easily preventable.