James Mattis Current Affairs - 2019

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President Trump names Patrick Shanahan as Acting Defence Secretary

President Donald Trump has announced that Defence Secretary James Mattis will depart the Pentagon by January 1. James Mattis’s Deputy, Patrick Shanahan is appointed as the Acting Defence Secretary.

James Mattis had resigned from the post of Defence Secretary citing policy differences with President Trump. The major reason for the fallout between President Trump and Mattis was,  President Trump’s sudden announcement about the troop drawdowns in both Syria and Afghanistan. Mattis was said to be against the move.

The resignation letter of Mattis delivered a harsh assessment of President Trump’s policy objectives. This triggered series of negative headlines in the US media and it was said to be the reason to remove Mattis earlier than expected.

Shanahan is a former Boeing executive. He became the Deputy Secretary of Defence in 2017. Shanahan is a native of Washington State like Mattis and he will be responsible for managing the Pentagon’s colossal $700 billion defence budget. As Deputy Secretary of Defence, Shanahan focused on reforming the internal processes of the Pentagon.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigns from his post

The United States Defence Secretary James Mattis has resigned from his post on 21st December 2018. His resignation came after his disagreement with the US President Donald Trump over the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. James Mattis, however, will be occupying the position till February 28 so as to allow sufficient time for his successor to be nominated.

James Mattis’ experience and stability were widely seen as a balance to Donald Trumps’ unpredictable policies. As per the political pundits, his resignation would add to the instability and chaos in the administration of Donald Trump.

The US President Donald Trump had a few days ago announced that he will be withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, after making a declaration that the Islamic State group has been destroyed. This decision is being by opposed by the Pentagon and other people in the US administration. The U.S. announcement for withdrawal has come at a critical moment in northern Syria, where Turkey has been threatening to launch a new offensive against the Kurds.  As per the Kurdish forces, ISIS militants have not been fully defeated and a premature US pullout would cause a resurgence of the Islamic State group destabilizing the entire region.