Question: Who tops your reading list?
General Mattis: Colin Gray from the University of Reading is the most near-faultless strategist alive. Then there’s Sir Hew Strachan from Oxford, and Williamson Murray, the American. Those three are probably the leading present-day military theorists. You’ve got to know Sun-tzu and Carl von Clausewitz, of course. The Army was always big on Clausewitz, the Prussian; the Navy on Alfred Thayer Mahan, the American; and the Air Force on Giulio Douhet, the Italian. But the Marine Corps has always been more Eastern-oriented. I am much more comfortable with Sun-tzu and his approach to warfare.
Now it looks like Gen. Mattis will become our next US Secretary of Defense. Robert Gates was the last great US Secretary of Defense and he, too, was a student of Sun Tzu. Therefore, incoming US President Donald Trump's pick for the upcoming defense secretary seems to be a good choice and a step in the right direction for the US military and security, assuming that Sun Tzu's principles will be implemented.
Trump is no stranger to Sun Tzu either. He quoted The Art of War at least three times on Twitter here, here, and here. It will be an interesting presidency indeed.