If there is one military leader who can be counted on to tell it like it is, it's Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, commander, JFCOM. And as the final speaker of the Joint Warfighting Conference, attendees were not let down. With the strength of words, he brought his depth of experience to thoughtfully describe what he sees as the needs for the future. In an international age, every nation brings something to the table, each country brings a tone to an alliance, Gen. Mattis began. This mind-set must be more than just words and become an attitude coalition partners admire. As panelists had discussed just moments earlier, Gen. Mattis called for building command and control-or as he prefers to call it "command and feedback"-from the ground up when it comes to interoperability with coalition partners. "In this age, I don't care how tactically or operationally you are: If you can't create harmony across military, international and civilian lines, you need to go home because your leadership is obsolete," he stated. The mantra of coalition cooperation extends beyond the international realm, the general stated. He reminded military commanders that they must set a command style of collaboration if the military is to remain relevant. Although the conference featured hundreds of technical solutions, the requirement for the future the general stated first has nothing to do with technology at all. "We need commanders who are critical thinkers," he said. Using the old solutions will not resolve new problems, the general added. Gen. Mattis also admonished the practice of over-reacting to relatively minor security incidents. While they should not be taken lightly, he believes overreactions that result in large programs that deplete the nation's treasure are not effective and can actually aid the enemy by robbing the U.S. of the precious funding it needs to fight large battles. "Too often, the enemy does something small and we spend a lot of money because of it.