Mattis’ resignation sounds an alarm of imminent chaos
President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria was the final straw for his Secretary of Defense, who is warning that the president may no longer have any boundaries.
It’s time to put rhetoric aside and take responsibility for communicating clearly and forcefully about what is happening at this time.
While the Trump Administration has transformed national and international politics into a reality show, the president's last-minute decisions and their consequences have placed the entire world on the verge of a major global conflict.
At a time when the U.S. government is at a dead end due to the perennial confusion between political campaigning and responsible administration - with a looming government shutdown, the collapse of stock markets, an investigation into alleged collusion and treason, and constant scandals - the president has decided to revert global alliances in what appears to be the most dire international crossroads since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced his resignation after "clashing with President Trump over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan," the Washington Post reported.
Indicative of the little diplomacy that’s left in the White House, Mattis said that "the president needs someone that’s better aligned with his views."
The gulf between one of the Trump administration's last remaining respected officials and the president is a serious symptom of what may occur in the coming months.
Both the Pentagon and Trump's closest advisers have echoed international warnings that the withdrawal by the U.S. from Syria would mean handing over strategic territory to natural enemies of the U.S., such as Russia and Iran, highlighting at the same time the president's contradictory diplomatic approach to both countries.
Similarly, and as CNN explained, Mattis' presence in the White House was the safeguard against any irreversible crisis, as his career and experience instilled some confidence in allies when interacting with the erratic president.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who is a veteran, told the media that it is indeed time to worry because "the wheels are coming off".
Worse yet, the General Mattis' resignation letter warns that the country is in the hands of "a president who no longer thinks he needs to listen to anybody."
For national analysts, the Mattis' exit leaves Trump without any respectable advisor, and without the slightest sign of decency. It’s as though the parapet of legality and constitutionality have finally fallen.
According to Blake Hounshell, editor-in-chief of Politico, the president's impulsive decision to issue orders via Twitter, passing over the Pentagon, "was a level of chaos I hadn’t seen in a decade of covering U.S. foreign policy.”
Hounshell described how the administration was unable to explain the president's decisions to the media, and how they passed the ball between the Pentagon and the White House press room, not knowing exactly what to say.
Finally, and to everyone's concern, Mattis seemed to have used his resignation letter as a warning to all parties involved.
“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,” the general wrote. “While the U.S. 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.”
Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria not only betrays the solid base of post-World War II organizations such as NATO, but it also gives strategic power to super-military powers like Russia, under dubious arguments.
That is just something any proud American should not stand.