US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States would get out of Syria “over a period of time” and wants to protect the US-backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down troops.
Trump did not provide a timetable for the planned military exit from Syria, which he unexpectedly announced last month against the advice of top national security aides and without consulting politicians or US allies participating in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
The politically fractious holidays in Washington saw the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who followed the departure of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who followed the departure of Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Mattis, who had performed capably, was now canonized by the media who engaged in another furious round of Trump-bashing. Or, as author and commentator Conrad Black colourfully put it, an “oceanic heaving of obloquy on the President.”
Washington was aghast – and not only about Mr. Mattis. The government, or at least a big part of it, shut down. Mad Dog Trump wasn’t bluffing this time. He carried out his threat. No wall, no work.
Washington, not to mention much of the country, was aghast again. Would the unravelling ever stop? Would Republican lawmakers ever do something about their mad king? Would they stop letting Nero be Nero?
“One aide said that although Mr. Trump had already seen the resignation letter when he praised Mr. Mattis, the president did not understand just how forceful a rejection of his strategy Mr. Mattis had issued,” the Times reported.
When Trump received the resignation letter he tweeted out his overwhelming support for Mattis for his service and the work he’d done. He called the resignation a “retirement” that Mattis deserved.
“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. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!” Trump tweeted.
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. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting….
“When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.,” Trump tweeted Saturday.
|AIWA! NO!|US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will exit a landmark arms control agreement the US signed with the former Soviet Union, saying that Russia is violating the pact and it’s preventing the US from developing new weapons.
The 1987 pact, which helps protect the security of the US and its allies in Europe and the Far East, prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 483 to 5,472 kilometres (300 to 3,400 miles).