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Mattis leaving as Pentagon chief after clashes with Trump


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WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was resigning Thursday, a day after President Donald Trump overruled his advice against pulling troops out of Syria and pressed forward on discussions to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.

Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump’s administration, will leave by the end of February after two tumultuous years struggling to soften and moderate the president’s hardline and sometimes sharply changing policies. He told Trump in a letter that he was leaving because “you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”

Trump said in a tweet that Mattis was retiring, but that’s not what Mattis said.

The announcement came a day after Trump surprised U.S. allies and members of Congress by announcing the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, and as he continues to consider shrinking the American deployment in Afghanistan.

Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria has been sharply criticized for abandoning America’s Kurdish allies, who may well face a Turkish assault once U.S. troops leave, and had been staunchly opposed by the Pentagon.

Mattis, in his resignation letter, emphasized the importance of standing up for U.S. allies — an implicit criticism of the president’s decision on this issue and others.

“While the U.S. remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies,” Mattis wrote.:snip:

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12 hours ago, nickydog said:

Good comments from Bill Whittle.


Read the comments?

My 1st comment

" Ok Bill! We're kicking you out of the Tribe!!! How DARE You Say Anything Remotely Positive About Him! All True Blue Yankee Doddle Dandy Mericans know James Mattis is a member of the GOPe The Deep State Establishment Globalist and a Secret Socialist....and he's a poopyhead!"

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Counter-ISIS U.S. official resigns in protest over 'reckless' Syria withdrawal

Joel Gehrke

 December 22, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s top deputy in the effort to defeat the Islamic State resigned in protest of the abrupt decision to withdraw from Syria, according to new reports.

Brett McGurk has served as the special envoy to the counter-ISIS coalition since 2015, when then-President Barack Obama appointed him to the role as the would-be caliphate rampaged across Iraq. President Trump’s administration kept him in the post, which took him to Syria about 20 times to coordinate with the factions fighting ISIS.

He said last week that it would be “reckless” for the United States to withdraw from Syria abruptly, not knowing that Trump was just days away from an unexpected and major policy shift.

“The military objective is the enduring defeat of ISIS,” McGurk told reporters at the State Department. “Areas that we have cleared of ISIS, they have not returned or actually seized physical space. There’s clandestine cells. Nobody is saying that they are going to disappear. Nobody is that naive. So we want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas.”

Trump changed course just a few days later. "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” he tweeted Wednesday.

The news was a shock to his own administration, especially the mid-level State Department officials who work most closely on Syria issues.........(Snip)

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On 12/23/2018 at 7:11 AM, Geee said:

"The world will perhaps never know the extent to which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis agreed with the military and foreign policies of President Donald Trump and the disruptions associated with his leadership style."


I would hazard a guess that we will. Maybe not directly from him, but James Mattis has friends. Wouldn't surprise me if a book came out this summer/fall.

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The General Who Preferred the Foxhole

John A. Nagl

December 23, 2018

I met Jim Mattis in Anbar Province, Iraq, in 2004. He was a major general, commanding the First Marine Division in a tough counterinsurgency fight. I was an Army major, serving in a tank battalion that the Army had provided to the Marines to give them extra firepower.

On the way to the rehearsal for a sweep-and-clear operation, General Mattis’s ground convoy was ambushed, with at least one of the Marines on his personal protection detail seriously hurt. Generals usually took helicopters, but General Mattis wanted to see the terrain for himself, from a grunt’s perspective, and the talk among the junior officers was of his personal courage in the battle with insurgents that followed the ambush. We were also impressed by the way he improved the operation plan. He had apparently always been full of ideas, and vocal about them, so one of his previous commanders had dubbed him Chaos, short for “Colonel Has Another Outstanding Suggestion.” Nobody called him Mad Dog.


I last saw Jim Mattis two weeks ago at the Army-Navy football game. He wasn’t very interested in what was happening on the field, but spent a great deal of time talking to a group of wheelchair-bound veterans — inquiring about their injuries and their treatment, offering his card to those who needed assistance or who just wanted to visit him in the Pentagon. After he had spent significant time with each wounded veteran, he spent a few minutes reminiscing with me about our time together in Anbar Province. It was pretty clear that he would have preferred to be back there, fighting against insurgents and terrorists, rather than engaging in the Washington combat to which he had to return after the game.

I thanked him for his continued service, as should we all. America will be less safe, and our enemies greatly heartened, by his departure.

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