Patterico's Pontifications

12/20/2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis To Step Down

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:02 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Coming on the heels of his announcement that the U.S. will be pulling out of Syria, President Trump tweeted today that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will be stepping down:

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!

In his letter of resignation, Mattis made clear that he no longer shared the same views with the president on certain matters. In part:

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US 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. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions—to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

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 in 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.

Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

The timing of his resignation would suggest that his departure is in response to the announcement concerning Syria. A decision which Mattis is not in agreement with, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham spoke to CNN’s Kate Bolduan about the issue today:

“Secretary Mattis is firmly in the camp of the job in Syria is not yet done. That abandoning the Kurds now will hurt us down the road,” Graham told Bolduan, adding, “That ISIS could and probably will come back. And I think that’s the universal view of both [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo and Mattis.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Trump: We’re Going to Build a Big Beautiful Wall Some Steel Slats

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:14 am



What the Fake News Media won’t tell you, though, is that we don’t even need the Wall (Steel Slats) because the border is *chef’s kiss* tight:

If you voted for Trump thinking he was going to give you a wall, how do you feel now? Confident? Betrayed? Like a chump sucker?

Also, we’ve defeated ISIS:

And also Russia and Iran and Syria are actually pissed we are leaving Syria on account of how now they have to fight ISIS without us:

So that’s coherent.


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