about 200 people gathered for the discussion, held at the san diego convention center. while many military members laughed at the comments, a military expert interviewed by nbc 7/39 in san diego called the comments "flippant."
"i was a little surprised," said retired vice adm. edward h. martin. "i don't think any of us who have ever fought in wars liked to kill anybody."
mattis also discussed operational tactics of the war, calling on military members not to underestimate the capacity of terrorists.
mattis leads camp pendleton's 1st marine division in iraq. he is in charge of the marine corps combat development and is based in quantico, va.