US Defense Secretary Mattis resigns over Trump’s move on Syria

Washington: The United States Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, resigned from his post on Thursday. His resignation was a result of clash of opinion with President Trump’s withdrawal of U.S troops from Afghanistan and Syria. In a parting letter, Mattis said that the presidents deserved someone atop the Pentagon who is “better aligned” with his views.

President’s withdrew 2,000 U.S troops from Syria saying that they have defeated the ISIS in the country. Within 48 hours of this decision, Mattis resigned from his post. However, in a tweet, Trump called it his retirement, saying, “General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”

Mattis said that he will leave the office on February 28, giving enough time to find the replacement and get it confirmed by the Senate.

In his letter of resignation, Mattis pointed out various clashes of opinion with Trump. Mattis said that the United States should take care of its relationships with its allies and treat them with respect as it derives most of its strength from them. He said the country must also be “clear-eyed” about threats, including from groups such as the ISIS.

“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,” Mattis wrote.

In the complete letter, there is no mention of the word “retirement”. In this letter, the outgoing Defence Secretary just wrote that the cabinet needs someone “whose views are better aligned” with the president.

Mattis had publicly supported the U.S. military’s mission in Syria, saying in September, “We are in Syria right now to defeat ISIS and destroy the geographic caliphate, and make sure it doesn’t come back the moment we will turn our back. So there’s going to be a little while that we’ve got to work with the locals.”

During his nearly two years at the Pentagon, Mattis secured sizable increases in defense spending after years of budget caps and oversaw the development of a new strategy that orients the military toward competition with China and Russia and away from combating extremist insurgencies in the Middle East.

Being one of the first picks of Trump after 2016 elections, Mattis had managed to control crisis from North Korea to Syria under a president who prides himself on his unpredictability.

This is not the first resignation in two years of Trump administration. Earlier, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Ambassador to the U.S Nikki Haley and 17 other administrators have resigned from the office due to clash of opinion with Donald Trump.