National Security

Mattis Seemingly Endorses Keeping Women In Combat

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Secretary of Defense nominee James Mattis seemingly endorsed female roles in combat in a pointed question from Sen. Claire McCaskill at his confirmation hearing Thursday.

Mattis told McCaskill in a response to question on women in combat, “the standards are the standards, and when people meets the standards, that’s the end of the discussion on that.”

He also told Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand he “would not oppose women in any aspect of our military,” and committed to allowing women to continue serving in combat roles.

Mattis’s answer flies in the face of some of his past comments on women in the military. Mattis has opposed letting women serve in combat roles, saying, “The problem is that in the atavistic primate world” of close-quarters combat, “the idea of putting women in there is not setting them up for success,” Mattis said.

He continued that the military must consider, “what makes us most combat effective when you jump into that room and you’re doing what we call intimate killing.”

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