The Last Adult in the Room Resigns in Protest (Complete Text of Sec. of Defense, Mattis' Resignation Letter)

20 December 2018

Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

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. 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. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

Jim N. Mattis

Views: 75

Comment by Ron Powell on December 21, 2018 at 1:36am

If you think the sudden unplanned, uncoordinated, and ill-timed pulling out of Syria was a whacko move, watch and see what happens with Mattis gone.

Comment by moki ikom on December 21, 2018 at 2:05am

What do expect will happen Ron when saudUSraeli-supported anti-Assad terrorists in Syria don't have U.S. military giving them cover and funding their arms any longer?  Will those sunni terrorists just have to return to Iraq and the Persian Gulf states from where they either began and or are funded?

Comment by Ron Powell on December 21, 2018 at 2:25am

Moki, Surely you jest... Your comment raises questions on issues and matters that could not possibly have figured into the arbitrary and capricious unilateral decision to withdraw our troops without the benefit of consultation with either the Pentagon or Congress.

Maybe you should lobby for the position and replace Mattis so when Trump asks why he can't/shouldn't use nuclear weapons, you can give him an answer....

Comment by Maui Surfer on December 21, 2018 at 10:56am

Keep in mind Syria would NEVER be in the position it has sadly ended up in if Prez Cheney didn't lie our way into handing Iraq to Iran. I don't imagine he consulted Mattis on that fake Weapons of Mass Destruction move, and if he did I doubt Mattis supported it, though I have no personal knowledge.

Comment by moki ikom on December 21, 2018 at 12:31pm

Ron,  do you not agree with Maui's statement that it was the Cheney warmongering crew and their puppet president Bush2 whose invasion of Iraq under false pretenses initially destabilized Syria socially and economically to the point USraeli subterfuge could easily ignite warfare inside Syria aimed at overthrowing Assad? 

Colluding with Saudi Arabia and Israel nonstop since u.s. sponsoring and supporting the jihadi overthrow of Afghanistan's marxist government,  the U.S. trashed Iraq with murderous warfare and economic sanctions for over a decade prior to the U.S. and friends (aka terrorUSt$) launching their decade of full scale destruction and chaos upon Iraq.  Have you Ron any idea where went over twenty years worth of the vast majority of refugees fleeing saudUSraeli terrorism predations on Iraq?  They sure didn't flee to the United States did they?  Leading into the so-called "Second Gulf War" (as if an intervening ten years of full-blown devastating u.s.-led economic sanctions on iraq were not warfare) do you remember terrorUSt$' defense offense secretary of war Donald Rumsfeld claiming his warmongers' planned invasion and occupation forces would create no refugees?  

If a bunch of murderous vandals had threatened and harassed your neighbor for years then finally broke in through all the doors and windows causing the neighbor family to flee to your father's home who took the family in, would you trust those very same vandals' claim that they were there to save your neighborhood if only you would turn over your parents to them?

Comment by moki ikom on December 21, 2018 at 1:24pm

As for your take on a "sudden unplanned, uncoordinated, and ill-timed pulling out of Syria", if indeed our official terrorUSt$ forces do finally leave Syria -aka the westernmost end of our zionaUSeou$ "Axis of Evil"- it won't have been unplanned because the Pentagon has been on that page before with the previous adminstration not all that long ago.  

As for uncoordinated, ditto immediately above. I believe that on the scale of just the u.s. offense present in Syria that the Pentagon wouldn't have much trouble coordinating their withdrawal from Syria, even if when they get an eviction notice on their incirilik base.  But then that's not the kind of coordination i think you have in mind.  I'd lay it on the table that you like so much of mainstream media are of a Hillarycon, neoliberal bordering on zionazi persuasion of the kind that, like Hillary et.al, agreed to invade Iraq after 9/11 because of the sponsored lies living in your own intelligence and sometimes fueling our governments' intelligence.  In other words, you mean 'politically uncoordinated' because you think congressional and neoliberal think tanks alJane Harman, perhaps even zionazi Netanyahu should have been consulted, coordinated with in order to reach a consensus on:

begin Withdrawal from our vast empire of bases and undiplomatic, unwanted by their hosts, outposts

or 

Not?

Comment by Ron Powell on December 21, 2018 at 4:48pm

@Moki, Frankly I don't care much about any of it....

It's about who stands to profit from the flow of oil and money in the region. Not too much to get worked up about since my focus is on other matters.

Trump doesn't have sufficient intelligence or insight to plan or coordinate much more than wiping his own ass....

BTW Anyone who doesn't know why we shouldn't use nuclear weapons is a threat to humanity....

That's what I'm concerned about and why we all should be unnerved about the absence of an adult in the room where Trump decision making is concerned... 

Comment by moki ikom on December 21, 2018 at 10:00pm

When you refer to 'the absence of an adult in the room' i think our White House and the probable fact that every corner of it has become for some time now a recorded existence.  If that's the case right now i hope its articial intelligence Ai in charge and not one of us.

Comment by Tom Cordle on December 22, 2018 at 11:34am

Thanks for posting this, now I won't have to Google it. The only thing Mattis left out was "It is also my solemn duty to recommend that the best course of action you could take to fulfill your oath of office to preserve and protect these United States of America is that you also resign, effective immediately."

Comment by Ron Powell on December 22, 2018 at 5:45pm

@TC; AMEN!

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