Ex-Diplomat: US Elites Alarmed That Trump May Accomplish Promised Foreign Policy

Ex-Diplomat: US Elites Alarmed That Trump May Accomplish Promised Foreign Policy

A political novice, Trump took office almost two years ago gushing about the retired military leaders who had agreed to serve in his administration: retired four-star Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis as defense secretary, and John Kelly, another retired four-star Marine general, heading the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump said on Twitter that Mattis will retire with distinction when he leaves at the end of February.

"For U.S. allies, Mattis" departure is bad news as this further increases Trump's unpredictable behavior in internationally tense questions and could bring about further weakening of U.S. positions", Marko Mihkelson, head of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs' committee, said in an interview with Delfi news. I'm also aware that Mattis, while broadly respected, clashed several times with President Obama on policy in Iran and Syria, with Mattis holding more hawkish views.

With Mattis out, regardless of who replaces him, Bolton is likely to gain more power within the White House. "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".

The news came just a day after Trump announced his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria, a decision that took members of his own administration by surprise.

He is resigning because Trump is not as resolute and unambiguous with America's adversaries as Mattis believes he should be.

Trump announced on Wednesday that USA troops in Syria would be withdrawn, a decision that upended American policy in the region.

The president made promises during his campaign to stop expending money and lives on foreign wars to rebuild the United States. Appearing with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, she hailed Mattis as a "patriotic American" and a "voice of stability", adding, "Our troops look to Secretary Mattis as a leader, and he is now leaving".

An appointment for Cotton, though, would pull a close Trump ally out of the Senate, where the President still fights to find friends. Mattis and others ultimately persuaded Trump to pour additional resources and troops into the conflict to press toward a resolution.

The abrupt resignation of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has alarmed an already tense Capitol Hill, causing lawmakers on both sides to speak out. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result. "You have the right to have a secretary of Defense with views that are better aligned with yours".

Just weeks into his new job, he was sacked by Trump for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russian government officials.

He has deep ties with many serving and former senior British military officers, including General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff.

But in stepping down from his post, Mattis made clear that he could no longer effectively advocate for Trump's views, after the two men privately clashed for months over the U.S. troop presence in Syria and Afghanistan and United States support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance. Trump instead tapped Gen. Mark Milley, the chief of the Army.

The defense secretary said he is stepping down because of the differences in viewpoints with Mr. Trump. But it's hard not to respect that he just had the courage to do what no one else in the Trump administration has done - resign in protest and go public with his grave concerns about the danger that Trump poses to the country and the world. Trump ultimately deferred to Mattis, who opposed the latter, signaling that he could be persuaded by his advisers. Another influential Cabinet member, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, has echoed the president's more critical view of the European Union, the United Nations and a host of other worldwide organizations, saying in a Brussels speech this month "they must be reformed or eliminated".

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