It Only Counts If You Get Killed

Marine Corps. Gen. James Mattis, commander of US Joint Forces Command, acknowledged last week that he’s taken some heat for his stance last year against effects-based operations. In fact, he said he was “pleased to be invited anywhere” after his publicized remarks in August 2008 ripping the concept. But speaking Feb. 12 at a Reserve Officers Association symposium in Washington, D.C, Mattis reiterated in various ways his conviction that war is not seemly without putting people at risk—an apparent dig at airmen who may fly high above the battle. “If we are not willing to put a lot of troops on the ground, we are not going to win,” Mattis asserted. He also said that ground units are going to be smaller and operate in a leaner way, without large-screen plasma TVs and “18 entrees at dinner” in war zones.