Legendary General James Mattis Just Gave One Of The Best Talks On Middle East Policy We've Ever Seen by Paul Szoldra, Business Insider. Includes excerpts and full speech video.
... Although he didn't directly address having a timeline to leave (as is the case of a 2014 Afghanistan pullout), Mattis said that you "don't ever tell the adversary in advance what you're not going to do."
He's now retired, but as servicemember on active duty, he could only offer advice to policymakers, not orders. "I don't write policy for my government," Mattis said. " ... I just carry out the last 600 meters of my President's policy."
Mattis also warned that Admirals and Generals need to "stop sucking their thumbs and whining about sequestration, telling the world we're weak" because it sends a signal to nations such as Iran and North Korea, and they may start to believe it...