Tags: Trump Administration | james mattis | resigns | trump | cabinet | historic

Mattis's Exit From Cabinet Is Historic

james mattis
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Friday, 21 December 2018 08:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Hours after James Mattis tendered his resignation Thursday based on differences with President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria the day before, reporters and historians scrambled to find a precedent for a cabinet exit based on policy.

Mattis’s resignation is historic. By most accounts, it is the first time a cabinet official has resigned over policy since Secretary of State Cyrus Vance tendered his resignation to President Jimmy Carter in April, 1980, over differences over the rescue of U.S. hostages in Iran. 

Vance resigned in protest over Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue mission of the hostages ordered by Carter, and was replaced by Edmund  Muskie.

Moreover, it is the first time the civilian head of the armed forces has resigned over policy matters since 1916.  At the time, Secretary of War Lindley Garrison resigned over his plan to create a standing army of 140,000 and a national volunteer reserve force of 400,000.

President Woodrow Wilson, while initially endorsing Garrison’s plan, ended up backing plans supported by several members of Congress for a much smaller military force.  Garrison resigned in protest in February 1916. 

Although Mattis has made clear that Trump’s surprise decision on Syria was the last straw for him, the retired U.S. Marine general did not refer specifically to it in his resignation letter. 

Instead, he clearly delineated a difference with the president’s worldview.

“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,” he wrote.

“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."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
 

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Hours after James Mattis tendered his resignation Thursday to President Donald Trump, reporters and historians scrambled to find a precedent for a Cabinet exit.
james mattis, resigns, trump, cabinet, historic
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2018-45-21
Friday, 21 December 2018 08:45 AM
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