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Pentagon chief Mattis quits, citing policy differences with Trump

Pentagon chief Mattis quits, citing policy differences with Trump

Mattis's decision came one day after President Trump announced he would withdraw USA forces from Syria, a move that Sen.

In his resignation letter, Mr Mattis said he's stepping down so President Trump can have a Defence Secretary with views more aligned to his.

Donald Trump said that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis would leave his position at the end of February.

"We must do everything possible to advance an global order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances", Mattis wrote. Sanders said that Mr. Trump did not ask Mattis to resign. It is devoid of any praise for the President.

Mattis' exit will leave Trump free to choose a new Pentagon chief more in line with his own disruptive instincts and policies, and could portend more upheaval in national security decision-making.

The news is certain to shock US military allies, already bewildered by what they see as Trump's unpredictable, go-it-alone approach to global security, and raises questions about whether Mattis' successor will be as steadfast about traditional treaty commitments, including to NATO. The president has been widely reported to have stopped referring to the retired Four-Star as "Mad Dog", and instead joking that he is "Moderate Dog". That gave him authority over troops in Iraq, where he helped develop a counterinsurgency approach before overseeing the United States withdrawal, and Afghanistan, where he implemented a troop surge.

William Ruger, vice president at the Charles Koch Institute said: "We commend President Trump's plan to withdraw USA troops from Syria".

Mattis said he would depart the administration February 28 to provide time for a replacement to be identified and confirmed by the Senate. "If he can get the machinery of the Executive Branch to implement his decision to withdraw from Syria, and if he can pick a replacement to General Mattis who actually agrees with [his own] views", Jatras said.

More recently, Trump bypassed Mattis' choice for the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief, was Mattis' top choice, but Trump chose Gen. Mark Milley, the chief of the Army.

Prior to becoming defence secretary, Mattis said he believes Iran is "the biggest destabilising influence in the Middle East", and that the United States must be ready to confront Russian behaviour in areas where the two countries can not cooperate. That is what we should be celebrating and be grateful for on the announcement of Mattis' retirement after a long record of outstanding service.

Yet the Mattis resignation letter, written by someone deep inside the cabinet, suggests that the critics have been right along.

Tillerson was thrown out in March, while he was on an official visit to Africa, and Kelly was sacked earlier this month as chief of staff.

As Defence Secretary, Mattis made eight trips to the Indo Pacific in two years - a sign of how invested he was in our region.


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