A rabies shot. Why trump is looking for a replacement Secretary of defense
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis will retire at the end of February.
In September the newspaper the New York Times (NYT), citing sources in the White house, Congress and the U.S. Department of defense reported that James Mattis finally fell out of favor with President Donald Trump. On 20 December the head of the Pentagon resigned, noting in his address to the President that he “is entitled to have the defense Minister, whose views largely coincide with it.” Mattis announced his retirement the next day after trump has ordered the withdrawal of American troops from Syria. TASS explains how the General was in the White house and why he is leaving.
The portrait of the Minister
Shortly after winning the presidential election of 2016, trump said Mattis, whose candidacy, he was considered “a real General of generals.” The elected President has good reason — his entire adult life James Mattis dedicated to the Armed forces of the United States.
In the Marines it was under President Richard Nixon, and in 1972 received the title of second Lieutenant (equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant in the armed forces). Mattis went through the Gulf war, the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, gaining the nickname ‘Mad Dog’ after the battle for Fallujah in 2004. And by 2007, Mattis became four-star General.
According to U.S. media, General grew up in a family of book lovers and to this day keeps on the bedside table a volume of the works of Marcus Aurelius.
His 68 Mattis remains a bachelor — his fiancee Alice Gillis refused the wedding, so as not to spoil his career. “He wouldn’t be defense Minister if he married me,” she said.
Mattis took over as head of the Pentagon since January 20, 2017 — that is, since joining trump in the position of President of the United States.
“Moderate Dog” vs “fifth-grader”
General Mattis doesn’t like it when they call him Mad Dog, but Donald trump has never hesitated to call him that. Recently, as reported by the American press, the President came up with the defence Minister a new nickname — Moderate Dog (Moderate Dog).
Mangling the army nickname of General, which enjoys great popularity among military personnel, the White house questioned the loyalty of his Minister, who does not always agree with the point of view of the Supreme commander. The New York Times wrote that trump thought of Mattis “Democrat at heart”.
But Sam Mattis, if you believe what is written by the winner of two Pulitzer prizes Bob Woodward in his new book, “Fear. Trump in the White house”, told colleagues that the White house thinks “like a five – or sixth-grader”. Mattis reportedly said that after trump asked the Minister why Washington spends huge sums on the maintenance of American troops in the Republic of Korea (ROK).
However, the Minister of defence this information immediately denied. “Contemptuous words about the President, attributed to me in the book of Genesis is never uttered by me or in my presence,” said Mattis. The General also noted that he believes the debate and the existence of a “competition of ideas” when discussing the foreign policy of the United States.
This approach clearly did not like the President, Trump — in his mind, any Minister should be only a conductor of ideas of the head of state, but not an independent figure.
And leave the views of Mattis and trump on many issues, such as:
nuclear deal with Iran — the Minister of defence said that the absence of a Joint comprehensive action plan (FDP) consistent with the national interests of the United States;
approach to torture — Mattis assured trump that “cigarettes and beer” you can do better than the torture by water;
the contents of U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq — trump repeated many times that he wanted them to “return home”, and Mattis insisted on the opposite;
the approach to conducting joint exercises with ROK President stated that their conduct is not necessary, and the Minister of defence the day before, said that Washington postpone the exercises do not intend to.
And the list of disagreements between trump and Mattis ends. As he told the Minister of defense, trump challenged each proposal on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. “We had a very tough discussion,” said Mattis.
Syria as the last straw
In the US administration claimed that the conflict between Mattis and the tramp does not exist. However, the clouds began to gather over the Minister in the autumn, when the White house began to discuss possible candidates to replace. In mid-October in interview to the program “60 minutes” on CBS trump did not rule out that the Pentagon can retire. The President has said that he believes Mattis supporter of the Democratic party, and for this reason he may soon leave the team.
Journalists from the very beginning wrote that if Mattis will be asked to leave his post, this will be done after the November midterm elections to Congress. The dismissal of a popular General before the vote could be too hard to hit positions of the Republicans.
However, according to Reuters, the resignation of Mattis was not compulsory — the initiative came from the Minister himself, and not from trump.
Agency sources say that the Pentagon announced the President’s resignation during a meeting with him on Thursday, December 20, the day after the order of trump on the withdrawal of American troops from Syria. “He and the President differed views on some issues. I don’t know whether it is Syria,” said a White house spokesman. In public schedule of the President, such a meeting did not appear.
Previously, the NYT wrote that Mattis and his staff and other officials in recent days have made efforts to dissuade the President from withdrawing troops from Syria. Apparently, categorical decision trump was the last straw where the head of the Pentagon has decided to leave the post.
After the midterm election, trump sent Jeff and Roman sessions to resign from the post of Minister of justice, John Kelly from the position of chief of staff of the White house staff. Therefore, care Mattis was not a surprise for anyone.
Alexander Mosesov, Arthur Thunders