As a general, Defense Secretary James Mattis was known as the "warrior monk," a celebrated combat leader and renowned student of war, but he embarks this week on a sensitive diplomatic mission: reassuring America's allies in Asia that the Trump administration has their backs. Beneath his colorful demeanor, Mattis is a smart, nuanced thinker, qualities that he'll need to convince Japan and South Korea that the new team in Washington knows what it's doing.
Tokyo and Seoul are still nervous a
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