When retired U.S. Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis became Secretary of Defense, it was largely believed he would be the right man to lead the fight against the radical Islamist insurgency that has bedeviled America and much of the rest of the world for decades now.
It appears, in its own way, that the Taliban has just registered its agreement with that sentiment.
Last Wednesday, the Taliban initiated a rocket attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to the New York Post, the attack came just a handful of hours after Mattis had arrived there to formally show his support for the government.
As it turns out, the timing of the rocket attack with Mattis’ visit was in no way a coincidence; Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid later tweeted a claim of responsibility for the attack, and confirming that the target was, indeed, the Defense Secretary’s plane.
Later, at a press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Mattis pointedly said, “An attack on an airport anywhere in the world is a criminal act by a terrorist.”
“If in fact, this is what they have done, they will find the Afghan Security Forces continuing on the offensive against them in every district of the country right now,” he added.
With Mattis in charge of the show, you can bet there’s little doubt of that.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large