A day after President Trump tweeted his shocking decision to “pull out” US troops from Syria, Defense Secretary James Mattis stepped down from his post, citing Trump had all “the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.” Mattis on Thursday, announced his decision to quit the Trump administration by penning a scathing resignation letter.
Without mincing words in the letter, the erstwhile four-star general from the Marine Corps expressed that he decided to part ways, owing to the difference of opinions with the President. Mattis wrote: “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion on these issues.”
“We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances,” the now-ex Defense Secretary’s resignation letter read.
James Mattis’ departure from the Trump administration is feared to throw US foreign policies out of gear. He was a part of the powerful “Axis of Adults” and “Trump’s Generals” groups that kept a check on the erratic military as well as foreign decisions the President fancied taking on an impulse. With Mattis gone in such a huff, the US is now at the mercy of the utterly inexperienced Trump.
In what seemed like a bad attempt to cover up for the loss, Trump tried some damage control by posting a “matured” tweet about James Mattis “retiring” in February.
The president posted a tweet on Thursday: “General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served in my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years.”
However, the damage was already done, since the exiting defense secretary had explicitly mentioned his belief in US allies and foreign policies that have been around for nearly 75 years, which now are trampled by Trump. James Mattis is right in his assessment that bullies Russia and China will make the most of the pullout of American forces from war-torn Syria.
Trump’s decision to bring back 2,000 troops from Syria was done without consultation with the defense secretary; also, none of the allies were in the know about such a drastic politico-military verdict. Needless to say, this led the immediate resignation of James Mattis.
The defense secretary was respected by Democrats and Republicans alike for his impeccable military feats, and his voice of reason that had gated Trump’s irrational whims. But that was not to be for long, because with Trump, insanity is the norm, and not an exception.