I think this high school student probably just scored himself an A in his journalism class after landing an interview with Defense Secretary Mattis:
A US high school student has scored an exclusive interview with Pentagon chief Jim Mattis after an aide of President Donald Trump inadvertently exposed the defense secretary’s cell phone number.
The Washington Post in May ran a photo of Trump and his bodyguard Keith Schiller walking outside the White House, with Schiller clutching a bunch of papers.
Sharp-eyed readers noticed that atop the papers was a yellow sticky note that said “Jim, Mad Dog, Mattis” along with a phone number.
Retired four-star Marine general Mattis has been nicknamed “Mad Dog” by some in the media and by troops that served under him.
The newspaper quickly took the photo down but not before Teddy Fischer, a sophomore (about 16 years old) from Mercer Island High School saw the number and called Mattis with an interview request.
“I called it to see if it was him, because I was pretty curious if this is actually his number or is it kind of a joke,” Fischer told the King 5 local news channel in his home state of Washington.
He didn’t leave a message but went on to text an interview request.
To his surprise, Mattis called back and agreed to schedule an interview, which ultimately would last for about 45 minutes. [AFP]
For those that think war with North Korea is imminent I think this passage from Secretary Mattis during the interview is quite telling:
“The most important thing is, if you have to go to war, then do everything you can not to go to war if at all possible,” the defense secretary added. “Then you’ve got to get the political end state right or you’ll never figure out how to end it successfully.”
Mattis cited the 1991 Desert Storm campaign against Iraq as an exception to the US’s half-century pattern of entering conflicts without a planned political end state. In that conflict, Mattis says, President George H.W. Bush formed a coalition and pushed Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, stopping short of invading Iraq, despite calls to do so.
“We went in with more troops than we needed and we ended it quickly, because he had the political end state right,” Mattis said. [Business Insider]
I don’t think anyone can make the case yet that all options to deal with the North Korean threat have been exhausted. Based on Secretary Mattis’ statement I don’t think he is going to be an advocate of launching any strike on North Korea until all options are exhausted.
The full interview with Mattis can be read at the high school newspaper’s website. The student I thought did a really good job because the interview was actually quite interesting and worth taking the time to read.