James Mattis, Defense Secretary, Will Be Leaving in February


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who often avoids publicly criticizing President Donald Trump, issued a pointed statement Thursday night in response to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, calling on the U.S. to promote a worldview more in line with the departing defense secretary's than the President's.

Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defence, announced his resignation on Thursday and is expected to leave the Pentagon at the end of February.

"Secretary Mattis' service is an example of why our alliance continues to be strong", he said. "Time for others to finally fight", Trump wrote.

Mattis' resignation also sparked concern among Washington's Asia-Pacific allies, who credit the retired general with building trust and tempering isolationist impulses. "It is imperative that he pick someone for the Pentagon - and frankly, clear out the rest of his national security team - and appoint people he can trust and whose views comport with his own".

Mattis's decision to resign followed a clash with the president over withdrawing troops from Syria, where a small military force has been fighting Islamic State extremists.

"Secretary Mattis has been an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration", he said. The decision was made after Trump announced that the US would be pulling all its troops out of Syria.

The president made promises during his campaign to stop expending money and lives on foreign wars to rebuild the United States.

"So I was sorry to learn that Secretary Mattis, who shares those clear principles, will soon depart the administration".

Members of Congress also decried Mattis's departure, and some experts such as DeJonge Schulman are hoping Capitol Hill will step up to check Trump in Mattis's place. In it, Mattis shows that he is thinking about something much bigger than Syria policy.

Earlier this month, Mattis was asked by Fox News' Bret Baier at the Reagan National Defense Forum whether he was being pressured to pull out of Afghanistan.

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Members of a U.S Army engineering brigade place Concertina wire around an encampment for troops, Department of Defense and U.S. The child was flown on a helicopter to Providence Children's Hospital in El Paso, Texas , where she went into cardiac arrest.

In a frank resignation letter to the president that was published on Thursday, Mattis signalled what his departure will likely mean - a White House even less concerned about supporting alliances such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and working with partners like the UK.

McConnell's statement is a rare public expression of disagreement with Trump.

It is well known that Mattis had numerous policy agreements with Trump.

"This is a sad day for America because Secretary Mattis was giving advice the president needs to hear", said Sen.

Mattis warned of the consequences of doing so: "If we leave, 20-odd of the most risky terrorist groups in the world centered in that region, and we walk out of there, then we know what will happen".

John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, was a four-star Marine Corps general who once led the US Southern Command.

Just weeks into his new job, he was sacked by Trump for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russian government officials. In his letter to Trump, Mattis wrote, "Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours". In March, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The question now is: Who will Trump tap to replace Mattis?

Mattis directly referenced NATO's invocation of its self defense mandate after the September 11, 2001, attacks as well as the global coalition against the Islamic State as examples of allies contributing to U.S. national security interests in the Middle East and elsewhere.

In addition to the Marines who will have left the Trump administration, H.R. McMaster, a three-star Army general, was sacked as Trump's national security adviser in March.