WASHINGTON — Former Defense Secretary James Mattis will release a book this summer reviewing his time in the fields of battle in war zones and in Washington.
It will be more of a “tell how” rather than a “tell all” book, the former Marine general said in a news release.
“My purpose in writing this book is to convey some of the lessons I learned in 43 years of service for those who might benefit, whether in the military or in civilian life,” Mattis said in a statement.
“I’m old-fashioned: I don’t write about sitting presidents, so those looking for a tell-all will be disappointed. I want to pass on the lessons and experiences that prepared me for challenges I could not anticipate, not take up the hot political rhetoric of our day,” he said.
The book is now named “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.” “Chaos” is Mattis’ nom de guerre bestowed, as legend goes, for his unbridled enthusiasm for sharing his plethora of ideas about strategy with superiors — thus the acronym for “Colonel Has Another Outstanding Suggestion.”
Mattis eschewed the nickname “Mad Dog” given to him by some journalists, a name President Donald Trump loved until he soured on Mattis. Other journalists and some career military folks nicknamed him the “Warrior Monk.”
While the book is expected to be widely enjoyed by Mattis enthusiasts, there is some early consternation about the less than exciting title. To that end, Task and Purpose news site urged those interested in the book to offer substitute titles.
Among their suggestions: Meditations on Lethality; Meditations In An Insurgency; PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid And Other Mattis Truths; Sleepless in Syria: The James Mattis Story; Four Funerals And Another Funeral; How To Kill A Guy In 10 Days; Silver Linings Killbook, and Lethal In Seattle. (Mattis is from Washington state.)
Mattis has been low key since leaving office on Dec. 31, 2018. His only apparent public remarks since then were on May 22 at a forum in the United Arab Emirates.
Regarding Iran, Mattis said then the U.S. “should buy time to keep peace and stability and allow diplomats to work diplomacy on how to keep peace for one more hour, one more day, one more week, a month or a year,” according to media reports.
“Iran’s behavior must change,” Mattis said then.