President-Elect's Secretary of Defense Pick, General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

Perhaps the best quality of President-elect Donald Trump is his ability to find the best people for key positions. That is a major reason for his business success and it will be a major reason for his eventual success as President of the United States.

Take General James "Mad Dog" Mattis for instance. Here is a man who is universally loved and respected by those he's served with and has the unique combination of leadership skills and resume accomplishments to make him the ideal fit for the job of Secretary of Defense.
People know General Mattis from his tough quotes and his "take no prisoners" attitude, but what some don't realize is he is also an extremely intelligent man who always looks at all sides of an issue before deciding on what works best. This is a man who required the men serving under him to read books about the culture of their opponents in battle and had those same men attend cultural sensitivity training so they would be mentally and emotionally equipped in addition to physically equipped.

Sure, he likes to kick a little ass, but he's a smart strategist and a deep thinker, too, as anybody who served under him in Iraq and Afghanistan will tell you.

That's why in addition to "Mad Dog," he's also been called "The Warrior Monk." Mattis is nuanced: He wants to destroy our enemies, but do it in a well-thought out, strategic way, as evidenced by his criticism of a lot of mistakes that were made during the Iraq War. He thinks Iran is a major threat, but also favors working on a diplomatic solution rather than just tearing up the Iran deal and starting from scratch. He realizes Israel is under assault, but also recognizes that there are people on the other side of the conflict suffering, too. He wants to stop future attacks but recognizes that torture is not an effective method of extracting information.

And that's another great thing about James Mattis: He has the guts to speak his mind, no matter what. President-elect Trump proclaimed his support for bringing back waterboarding on the campaign trail, but a few weeks ago, he backed off. Why? Because James Mattis told him he's seen no evidence that it works.

Which is another great thing about President-elect Trump: He will surround himself with the best and brightest and actually listen to their opinions. Donald Trump knows what all great men know, which is that he doesn't know everything. While he has shown the strength to be authoritative on important issues, he has also shown a willingness to take input from those around him who may know certain subjects better than he does. That is the mark of a great executive and a wise leader.

A brilliantly qualified General, who is willing to speak his mind, leading the Defense Department with a President who is both shrewd enough to appoint that General and smart enough to listen to him. That is a terrific combination and come January 20, we, as Americans, will all be grateful to have both of them serving our interests.