Retired Marine General James Mattis appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier today.  He was questioned on a wide variety of topics over the span of three hours, after which the members of the committee took little time to deliberate before voting to approve a waiver required to allow Mattis to serve as the Secretary of Defense, despite not waiting the legally mandated seven years since his most recent service on active duty.

During the questioning, Mattis weighed on a myriad of issues facing the United States using concise and deliberate language in what has become a trademark of the man commonly referred to as the “Warrior Monk.”  Among the most prominent issues addressed were U.S. efforts against ISIS, Russia as a threat, and the role of women in America’s combat operations.

Mattis was clear that he felt current strategies regarding combat operations against ISIS were falling short of having what he believes is the necessary effect in order to discourage the terrorist organization’s expansion throughout the world.  He went on to say that he believes the current methodology employed needs to be reviewed and “energized on a more aggressive timeline.”

Despite President Elect Trump’s seemingly friendly demeanor toward Russian president Vladimir Putin (with accompanying scandals) and an international expectation that the Trump administration will have more success in reducing ongoing political and military tension between the two nations, Mattis pulled no punches in his assessment of Russia as one of America’s largest threats.