General Mattis worked covertly as a advisor for the UAE during the Yemen conflict.

James Mattis served as the United States Secretary of Defense from 2017 to 2018, but before his position in the Trump administration, he acted as an “advisor” for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Mattis’ work as a consultant gives rise to the concern about foreign influence on American politicians and policymakers. This article discusses the controversy surrounding Mattis’ involvement with the UAE, the issue of retired U.S. military members working as consultants for foreign governments, and the potential consequences and conflicts of interest that can stem from this practice.

In a groundbreaking investigative report by The Washington Post, it was revealed that hundreds of retired United States military members have been employed as “consultants” for foreign nations. Many of these veterans are retired Generals and Admirals. This raises questions on how these retired military officials can balance their allegiance to the United States with the significant paychecks they receive from foreign governments while providing testimony to Congress on various issues related to foreign policy. The concern is whether their employment as consultants fundamentally makes them proxy lobbyists or even foreign agents of the governments paying for their consulting services.

One particular concern surrounds General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a Marine Corps General and former Secretary of Defense. Mattis served as an advisor for the United Arab Emirates. The details of his consulting activities, the lack of proper disclosure, and potential falsification of official documents have raised alarming questions.

The United Arab Emirates is known for employing more retired U.S. military veterans than any other foreign nation. In 2015, Mattis applied to work for the UAE at the behest of his long-time friend, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. This application came at a time when the UAE was involved in the campaign to intervene in the civil war in Yemen alongside Saudi Arabia.

However, the concern isn’t just about Mattis’ consulting work but also the lack of disclosure about it. During his public confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense, Mattis omitted any mention of his employment as an advisor for the UAE. Additionally, there are discrepancies regarding whether he was compensated for his services. While his application stated that he would be compensated, his current employer claims that he has never received any compensation from a foreign government.

The issue of retired U.S. generals and admirals working as consultants for foreign governments extends beyond the question of compensation. The broader concern is about the potential conflicts of interest and the influence these individuals may have on United States foreign policy decisions. Their testimonies shape funding for military aid, humanitarian assistance, international infrastructure projects, and defense spending. The defense contractor boards these individuals serve on also benefit from the consulting services they provide to foreign nations.

In connection with the current geopolitical scenario, there is an elevated concern about the connection between Mattis’ consulting work and the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Recent investigations allege that the UAE has been involved in funding politically motivated assassinations in Yemen since 2015. This presents a potential conflict of interest for Mattis’ involvement with a country engaged in such controversial activities while also serving as a senior advisor and consultant.

The overarching issue is that the practice of retired U.S. military leaders working as consultants for foreign governments opens them up to manipulation by adversaries and undermines the integrity and independence of American foreign policy. It begs the question of whether these individuals are truly loyal to the United States or more concerned about their own financial gain.

While U.S. military veterans are undoubtedly qualified and respected leaders, the potential conflicts of interest and influence on foreign policy decisions that stem from their consulting work are an issue that deserves scrutiny and attention. The American public and policymakers must consider the implications of allowing retired military leaders to engage in such consulting activities and whether it serves the best interests of the country.

Overall, the controversy surrounding James Mattis’ consulting work for the UAE and the broader issue of retired U.S. military members acting as consultants for foreign governments raises important questions about ethics, integrity, and the influence of foreign actors on American policymaking. This topic is crucial for maintaining the transparency, accountability, and independence of U.S. foreign policy decisions.