US president-elect Donald Trump has named General James Mattis, a former marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as his defence secretary.
Mattis was an outspoken critic of Obama administration, especially on its policy towards Iran.
“We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defence,” Trump announced at a rally in Cincinnati.
“He’s our best. They say he’s the closest thing to (World War II-era) general George Patton that we have,” he added.
The official announcement would be made on Monday, Telegraph reported.
General Mattis, known as the ‘Mad Dog’, led US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Mattis would require both Senate confirmation and a congressional waiver of a law that bans uniformed military officers from serving as secretary of defense for seven years after leaving active duty. Mattis retired in 2013
Mad Dog has long advocated an aggressive approach to Iran. He has referred to Iran as the “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”
Mattis was accused of dismissing the case against the US marines for the Haditha massacre, an incident in which a group of US marines slaughtered unarmed Iraqi civilians including children, women and elderly people at an Iraqi wedding party.