Washington Post: Mattis and Shock Waves Abroad

The United States has the world’s largest military, yet national security relies on a network of allies along with expectations that US leaders promote stability and keep their word during times of crisis. The Trump administration has demonstrated little respect for key allies. US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis resigned after Donald Trump abruptly announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria. Shortly after the resignation, Trump announced plans to reduce troops in Afghanistan without apparent notification to coalition partners or US military leaders. The two conflicts are underway, and withdrawal leaves supporters in a treacherous position. Allies and foes express alarm about the resignation. “In China and Russia, U.S. adversaries that were cited in Mattis’s resignation letter as deserving of tough treatment, there was open anxiety that the world had just become more vulnerable to conflict,” reports the Washington Post. “In regions of the world that bear the imprint of decades-long American influence, it all added up to a realization of some people’s worst fears about U.S. foreign policy under Trump: an increasingly volatile, unreliable and inward-looking United States.” Military leaders worldwide praised Mattis as wise, calm and professional. Allies expect uncertainty and prepare to become more self-reliant. – YaleGlobal

Washington Post: Mattis and Shock Waves Abroad

US Defense Secretary Mattis resigns; Trump makes plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria; US allies anticipate chaos and prepare for self-reliance
Griff Witte and Isaac Stanley-Becker
Friday, December 21, 2018

Read the article from the Washington Post about the resignaton of US Secretary of Defense General James Mattis.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis was unequivocal about his appreciation for US allies in his resignation letter:

“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. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies…. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”resignation letter of James Mattis

Griff Witte is a Europe-focused correspondent with extensive experience in the Middle East and South Asia for the Washington Post. Isaac Stanley-Becker is a reporter based in the UK who reported from Florence. Pamela Constable in Islamabad, Joanna Slater in New Delhi. Luisa Beck in Berlin, Gerry Shih in Beijing, Anton Troianovski in Moscow, Loveday Morris in Jerusalem and Min Joo Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.

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