Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced Thursday he would be resigning from his position in February, in a letter to the President.
Mattis’s resignation comes almost immediately after President Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing military personnel from Syria. Differing visions on the decision seem to have had an impact upon Mattis’s resignation, as the retired Marine Corps general stated that President Trump had “the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects.” While not explicitly mentioning Syria, Mattis alluded to his differing views from Trump on national security strategy in a previous paragraph.
Mattis had endured in his position as Secretary of Defense from the beginning of the Trump position, and will have served more than two years in the position upon his departure from office- longer than many other initial cabinet members of the Trump administration. He came into the position after a distinguished 44-year career in the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a General in 2013. Mattis was a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the 2003 Iraq War, becoming somewhat of an celebrity amongst service members known for a colorful personality.
Although contention between the national security visions of Trump and Mattis led to the latter’s resignation, both the outgoing Secretary of Defense and President touched upon accomplishments made at the Department of Defense during Mattis’s term. Progress had been made in motivating NATO allies of the United States to place more money into defense in accordance with their obligation to spend 2.0% of GDP as a term of NATO’s charter.
The departure of Mattis from the Department of Defense could potentially mean that the Trump administration will move forward on a withdrawal of U.S military forces from Afghanistan, after a record-setting 18-year conflict in the country.
It’s likely that a nominee for Secretary of Defense will be put forth by the administration within the next week or two, and Mattis pledged to work to ensure a smooth transition.
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Tommy Tuberville Says “We Can’t Worry About China Right Now”
Even though they allowed the disease to spread.
Former football coach and Alabama US Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville said that “we can’t worry about China right now” in a radio appearance with Talk 99.5’s “Matt and Aunie Show on Thursday.
When asked by hosts about the implications of the global coronavirus epidemic on the United States’ relationship with China, Tuberville said, “Well, we can’t worry about China right now. We’ve gotta worry about Alabama and this country.”
Tuberville is currently running to represent Alabama in the United States Senate, although he’s been registered as a Florida voter in the past.
His comments on China policy will leave many Americans concerned with the nation’s role in the coronavirus epidemic unsatisfied. Certainly, containing the epidemic in this country is the priority, but a wide range of conservatives and China hawks have already begun to discuss the need to fundamentally reevaluate the United States’ relationship with China. The damage already inflicted upon American society and the global economy does present a pressing case that such a question is in fact urgent.
Tuberville is running for Senator, not Governor. He could be forgiven if he was running for an office not entrusted with high-level foreign policy responsibilities, but Senators in the coming months and years will be entrusted with developing China policy that recognizes the authoritarian communist nation’s role in allowing and covering up the global coronavirus epidemic.
Contrasting in stark fashion, Tuberville’s opponent for the Republican nomination for US Senate in Alabama, Jeff Sessions, has called for a congressional select committee to investigate China’s role in covering up the dangers posed to the world by the coronavirus, the virus’ origin in Wuhan, and potentially lying about the casualties incurred as a result of the disease in China.
I am calling today for Congress to immediately establish a Select Committee on China to lead the investigation. This Select Committee should be given the authority to wield the full investigative powers, including the power to compel witnesses, of the United States Congress.
— Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) April 1, 2020
If Alabama voters want a Republican Senator who is going to be tough on China, it doesn’t look like Tommy Tuberville is up to task.
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