While generally supporting President Donald Trump's authority to dictate his Cabinet with those supportive of his agenda, former NATO Supreme Commander Adm. James Stavridis is worried the president might get bad advice now.
"I'm sorry to see both Gen. Kelly and Gen. Mattis leave their posts," Stavridis told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. "I know both of them very well . . . They're both good people and, I think, provided a very good set of recommendations to President Trump on everything from continuing to fight against the Islamic state in Syria to how much we should do in defense spending to supporting NATO.
". . . With their departure, I'm afraid some of the president's decisions, such as withdrawing troops from Syria, reigniting significant criticism about NATO, I think you see the lack of that kind of advice."
Gen. John Kelly has been replaced as White House chief of staff by a politician Mick Mulvaney, while Mattis departed as Defense Secretary over a disagreement over a draw-down of troops in the Middle East, which was a campaign promise of President Trump's. The war in Afghanistan is the longest running war in American history.
Stavridis, a former U.S. Navy admiral, remarked there are a pair of potential "cold war" efforts in the South China Sea and the Arctic, as countries battle over unclaimed waters and the U.S. Navy is running Freedom of Operation (FONOP) missions to keep countries from unilaterally staking claims to international waterways.
"The South China Sea is claimed by China as territorial waters," Adm. Stavridis told host John Catsimatidis. "The U.S. is challenging that claim. We're not going to simply hand over the entire South China Sea to China – anymore than the world community would hand over the Caribbean Sea to the United States.
"So, we're challenging it by having our great navy destroyers drive in and out of it, coming close to the Chinese artificial islands that they're building, to show that these are international waters, not internal Chinese waters. It's a bit of the cold war in a small maritime space, and it's creating tension. It bleeds over into the issues of trade, intellectual property, and other disputes we have with China."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.