It will take the next President to put things right in the countries Foreign Affairs….
As strong as America is militarily?
We cannot do things alone nor should we retire from the world stage…
Jim Mattis ended one of history’s more turbulent tenures as defense secretary on Monday by re-emphasizing a key difference with President Donald Trump and encouraging Pentagon employees, civilian and military, to “hold fast” in safeguarding the nation.
Mattis, who submitted his resignation on Dec. 20 and was, in effect, fired by Trump three days later, spent the day in his third-floor Pentagon office preparing to hand off his duties at midnight to Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, will be acting defense secretary until someone is nominated for the post.
In a written farewell message, Mattis urged all employees to “keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.” Mattis sees allies, including NATO, Japan and South Korea, as central to U.S. foreign and security policy, a point on which he differed from Trump, who denigrated allies as unworthy freeloaders.
In 711 days as defense secretary, Mattis wrestled with a series of surprise, sometimes sudden and often confusing, decisions by Trump, including a July 2017 presidential tweet saying he would ban transgender people from serving in the military. Mattis also disagreed with Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. He counted as a victory his persuading Trump to abandon, at least temporarily, his stated instinct to withdraw from Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Trump reversed himself and ordered a partial withdrawal, overriding Mattis’ objections.
Mattis also was set back by Trump’s tweet Dec. 8 announcing he had picked the Army chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley, to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This not only left the current chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford, in a lame duck status until his scheduled retirement next fall, but it also marked an unusual rejection of advice from his own secretary of defense. Mattis had recommended Air Force Gen. David Goldfein for the job.
The disagreements accumulated, and when Trump decided to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, Mattis submitted a resignation letter he had written some days earlier. His decision to quit stunned many in the Pentagon and around the world. Trump himself seemed taken aback, and three days later, he tweeted that Shanahan would replace Mattis on Jan. 1, cutting short Mattis’ announced plan to stay until Feb. 28 to ensure a smooth transition….