General James Mattis, Secretary of Defense is resigning at the end of February 2019. In a Tweet just before 3:30 pm local time, President Trump made the announcement via Twitter, characterizing Mattis’ resignation as a retirement, and just before Mattis’ letter was released.
“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” Trump tweeted.
Trump credited Mattis with aiding in obtaining “allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations.” And that during Mattis’ time as Secretary of Defense, tremendous progress had been made, and credited Mattis for also aiding Trump’s administration with the “purchase of new fighting equipment”.
In his resignation letter, Mattis states “you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours…I believe it is right for me to step down from my position”. Mattis noted that his last day as Secretary of Defense will be February 28, 2019, and stated that it “should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed.”
In his letter, Mattis cited the importance of US alliances "[o]ne 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’ resignation comes just one day after Trump announced his controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria. In a Tweet on December 19, President Trump declared that the U.S. mission to defeat ISIS in Syria has been accomplished, and will be removing over 2,000 troops from the country.
Read General Mattis' full letter of resignation below:
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