Gen. Mattis

Photo: Katie Nielsen

Too many of America’s leaders today lack a coherent strategy for addressing the world’s challenges, General James Mattis said Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation. Instead, America needs a leader who is “unapologetic about American values.”

“The greatest generation taught us that if you don’t talk about something then things will go wrong fast,” Mattis said. But today’s leaders often ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

He warned that ignoring the problems with Russia, China, and political Islam won’t make them go away. Rather, ignoring them will allow them to escalate which could be catastrophic for both the U.S. and our allies.

Though things may look gloomy now, he emphasized we can reverse it through the powers of intimidation and inspiration. He has high hopes for the younger generation, which is why he focuses his attention on universities.

This leadership can be gained through learning, he said, and emphasized the importance of the reading lists Marines are required to read upon advancing ranks.

Mattis, a retired four star general in the Marine Corps, delivered the annual Colonel James T. McGinley lecture. Known as the “Warrior Monk,” Mattis served as Commander of the United States Central Command, Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander.

Mattis said he turns down most speaking requests, but since he quotes Heritage research so often, he felt he should accept this opportunity.

Do you think today’s leaders have developed a strategy to deal with the world’s challenges?

Comments (63)

SaM mAPHIS - May 15, 2015

We do not have any real leader in this administration. I respect General Mattis

Lloyd Smith - May 15, 2015

In a word NO. Today’s leaders have are not oriuncipoled and

Marilee Schanuel - May 15, 2015


Marilee Schanuel - May 15, 2015

If there is much planning

Lloyd Smith - May 15, 2015

In a word NO. Today’s leaders are not principled and have not developed strong views of how to proceed. They do not feel the requirement of accountability to them selves or their constituents.

Marilee Schanuel - May 15, 2015

Hardly any; let us know.

Larry Permann - May 15, 2015

The question of whether TODAYS leaders have developed a strategy for todays challenges is very broad. If you are in Russia I would lean towards a “Yes” if you are asking if OUR leaders in the USA have a strategy for our challenges, it would be NO! It seems like OUR leaders are working against us.

Danny - May 15, 2015

They most definitely HAVE NOT!!!

We need to take back the education system and get Washington thoroughly out of it. Pre-k indeed. and 24/7??? HELL NO!

Christi - May 15, 2015

There very few le

Joan Cummins - May 15, 2015

We have no effective strategy todeal

Joan Cummins - May 15, 2015

We have no effective strategy to deal with the world’s challenges because our President does not subscribe to the United States’ traditional role as the leader of the free world. We must ensure our next President is fully commited

Janeen Paulsen - May 15, 2015

I enjoyed the comments of General James Mattis. I do agree the vast majority of our leaders do not have a solid respect and understanding of our American Values. Yes, what comes across most times is a rather weak-kneed apology for their stand. Another thing I do think, especially in the way the press reports events in the Middle East, is there needs to be a solid understanding of the history (both Biblical and Secular) of conflicts in this region from time memorial.

jerry betts - May 15, 2015

I really think they do not. In fact poltics has taken too strong a position, and Profressor t

Howard Forgey - May 15, 2015

Not America’s current leaders…

jerry betts - May 15, 2015

I didn’t finish before I was terminated; probably my fault.
I was saying this is what Professor Tytler said would happen.
In this regard I would suggest pushing for broader view of history and econonmics (and geopolitics)

jerry betts - May 15, 2015

There is no opportunity in your comment software to correct mistakes.
Additionally – in this regard – I would like to suggest an excellent book for review. It is The Rise and Fall of the State, by Martin Van Crevald, published by Cambridge University Press in 1999. I recently also recommended it to Stratfor, with whom you should also pursue a relationship if you have not already. Crevald tells it the way it is and is unobstructed by some of the politics that seem to dominate us here in the US

Jerry Metcalf - May 15, 2015

YES! Their entire focus is the convert the world to a socialist domain, so they act dump on everything else.

Janet Scaruffi - May 15, 2015

They don’t even know their is a problem much less have a clue what to do about it. Too busy looking at the GOLDEN APPLES

Jerry Sims - May 15, 2015

Obama is the laughing stock of the world, hehas upset our allies

Moe Pack - May 15, 2015

No, we do not have developed a strategy to deal with the worlds problems. Most important is to run someone in 2016 that can beat Hillary if we wish to be American again.

DR C S BERRY - May 15, 2015

Without doubt, the current crop of western political leaders, excepting P. M. Netanyahu, is a most inferior group. And the most treasonous leader of USA has been in the Oval Office

DR C S BERRY - May 15, 2015

The current crop of western political leaders seem to have absolutely no idea what their goals should be. And the current occupant of the Oval Office is the most treacherous and treasonous in American history.

Virginia Wallace - May 15, 2015

We do not have a plan or values in place. Yes, things are changing at a more rapid pace today, and we must keep up woth them and

Roy - May 15, 2015


Robert Hammons - May 15, 2015

our leaders today are like the proverbial ostrich, except its not the sand where their heads are. we go around the world trying to buy friends one of the things my ole daddy taught me was a bought friend isn’t worth having.
we also are soooo afraid of offending some one, some time offense, especially if it’s telling the truth, and like it really is, is necessary. also why do we always feel everyone in this world has to have our lifestyle and beliefs especially on the tax payers nickel?
this global economy nonsense is part of the problem. our economy has become so entangled with everyones that when there is a problem

Tom O’Grady - May 15, 2015

Today’s so-called leaders are phantoms. They do not exist. It is not reasonable to expect coherent policy decisions from such “leaders”, so any meaningful policy decisions

Daniel Antonucci - May 15, 2015

Our leadership strategy is so incredibly fouled up that it will take years to fix. We must start now in insure a safe and free America for our grandchildren. We cannot avoid engagement with our enemies. Instead of applying “band-Aids” to our problems overseas,we need to strike with all our might and completely decimate an oppsing force. After doing so, we must then tell the rest of the world that this is how we will deal with oppressors. We then need to back it up by creating strong alliances that are rock hard and unwavering. Domestically, we must stop the spending on those things that make no sense or prevent people from succeeding in their pursuit of personal wealth. If we do these things, we will inspire national pride and a celebration of American exceptionalism.

Michael Georgas - May 15, 2015

I would be interested in hearing General Mattis’s opinion

Mark B Sussman - May 15, 2015

gen. Mattis, I fully agree that

James T Young - May 15, 2015

Who are today’s leaders

patti Overstreet - May 16, 2015

Unfortunately it looks more like

patti Overstreet - May 16, 2015

Unfortunately it looks like so-called leaders believe the hype.i see very few stand up and defend and protect as they promised. Do leafers still swear on a bible? Most vote like hesthens. They make promises they dont keep. If i didnt know God has and is The Way I’d be scared. As it is I’m sad and yet…because of you and othets who are stepping up to the plate I am also getting encouraged. Bless yall.

Katherine McLeister - May 16, 2015

We also need to

Maried Doucette - May 16, 2015

Our so-called leaders in the house and senate are a disgrace

Larry D Klein - May 16, 2015

YES. The world problems are the plan. Destabilization of governments, collapse of ecconomies

Mary Carter - May 16, 2015

We live in a great country and I am so tired of our leaders apologizing for us. Our current administration has no positive ideas how to lead.

Marlin Genz - May 16, 2015

The leaders of America are being bought ,sold, blackmailed to do what they are told to do how to vote and say.
There is only one way to save America . ( That is a 100% flat Tax )

David Lopez - May 16, 2015

I think our leaders in congress have become weak,apologetic, and supporting ideas that Obama has instead of doing the job the public voted for them to accomplish. We need to go back to the basis of OUR Constitution.

Robert Steele - May 16, 2015

No, all you need to look at is the USA for the last 6 + years. The leadership and his people have no idea what they are doing and if they do it is criminal.

Lawrence J Wanner - May 16, 2015

I agree! We have to get him out!!!!

Barbara Wilson - May 16, 2015

Today’s leaders (at least that is what they think of themselves as) are nothing more than a bunch

Barbara Wilson - May 16, 2015

I don’t think of them as leaders but rather as the scared little kid on the playground who hopes that by ignoring the bullies and playing nice with them, he will be left alone. We all know that in the real world that doesn’t happen. I want a leader who believes in this country and stands up for the values that makes it the country where so many risk there lives to get here.

Howard shamblin - May 16, 2015

The state Department has foolishly embrked on apeasement

Howard shamblin - May 16, 2015

Washington has embarked on fool hardy mission of appeasement across the globe,hoping to get along and be friends, this will be the death of America and will be used against it.

Patricia - May 16, 2015

Not very many. How ever there are several that look like good prospects. May we hear more from them so we know who they are.

Sheri Reynard - May 16, 2015

We need a leader with passin and commom sense.

Sheri Reynard - May 16, 2015

We need a leader with passion who can inspire us and who has common sense and is trustworthy

Janet Eden - May 16, 2015

The ones in charge do not seem to have a handle on the subject.

RICHARD H. ECKERT - May 16, 2015

Whatever happened to keeping things simple. Our leaders have many words to say but things like “actions speak louder than words” have been forgotten.” I think our leaders should have LESS to say and SHOW the way to DO it. There are no quick fixes and we should be looking at long term solutions not just appeasement for the moment.

M. Leroy Perry - May 16, 2015

I have not heard any of the 535 people in Washington that I would hire to work for me The answer is NO we don’t have any leaders

Donald Hale - May 16, 2015

Gen. Mattis is absolutely correct in his assertion that there’s no leadership in Washington, except for a few such as those in the Utah congressional delegation. Our country sinks in the Socialist sewer while Congress fiddles around trying to find new ways to buy votes from ignorant graduates of Liberal-controlled schools. Both the DNC and the RNC are hideous disasters.

Henry C. Holder - May 16, 2015


Robert Roark - May 16, 2015

No, our current leaders cannot fathom our internal situation, much less deal with other nations around the world. Sad to say, this is true of many Americans as well, and this is a result of 100 years of progressive education in our schools and universities. We don’t know our own history and rarely concern ourselves with the history of other countries. So our efforts at foreign policy are usually inappropriate and, therefore, more likely to embarrass us than produce positive results.

Charles R Wright - May 17, 2015

To me, I don’t think today’s political leaders have a clear vision of what America is and what it may become because they have no understanding of our history and the sacrifice that our fathers(and mothers) endured to make it so: The freedom to pursue their dreams and the liberty guaranteed by the US CONSTITUTION! If this is not true, we’re in trouble! Only war will separate “the wheat(the fruit of liberty) from the chaff(the waste of socialism and other forms of slavery). That war will be waged here before Americans fully understand this price of Liberty.

Bounchanh Senthavong - May 17, 2015

I agree with Gen. Mattis. Acting as an
autriche is not improving the world

Bonnie - May 18, 2015

I don’t think our leaders have a strategy to run our own country let alone the knowing what to do consistently regarding world concerns.

Dick Todd - May 18, 2015

China, Iran, Russian leaders have
unapolegically announced their plans and
taken action.

Sandra Slater - May 22, 2015

Unfortunately we do not have leadership that an be trusted at this time. They are lost.

ron mazzucchi - May 22, 2015

It seams to me that our leaders are in office for themselves. I don’t think they are all that way

Dayle Eckenrode - May 28, 2015

A great big NO! They are all too politically correct” and will not speak truth in order to be liked!

Howard L. Wilson - May 28, 2015

With Obama’s obvious suppot

Howard L. Wilson - May 28, 2015

NO ! o

Howard L. Wilson - May 28, 2015

No.Obama is an Islamic supporter, despite words to the opposite. The better candidate in 2016 is Andrew Napolitano, the possible Libertarian candidate.

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