U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis offered to resign in defiance of President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. The move will likely increase uncertainties surrounding Washington’s defense policy.
The U.S. Defense Department disclosed Secretary Mattis’ letter of resignation as defense minister on Thursday. “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,” Mattis said in his resignation letter. “Because you have the right to have 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.” He thus clearly indicated that he is resigning due to differences in opinions with President Trump over major security policies including the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, which President Trump announced on Thursday, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, North Korea and Iran issues.
The New York Times reported that Secretary Mattis resigned in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Secretary Mattis visited the White House on Wednesday afternoon, and tried to persuade the president that U.S troops should continue to be stationed in Syria, but was denied of the request. As a result, he expressed his intention to resign. President Trump tweeted on Thursday that “General Jim (James) 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.”
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