NEW DELHI: US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will be “retiring, with distinction,” in February. “Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defence 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,” Mattis wrote in his letter to the President.
The 68-year-old Pentagon chief did not mention if he was resigning specifically over the troop withdrawal decision, which has surprised US allies and several lawmakers. The retired Marine general’s surprise resignation came a day after Trump overruled his advisers, including Mattis, and shocked American allies by announcing the pullout. In the process, Trump declared victory over the ISIS. Mattis’ resignation letter, which a Pentagon spokeswoman said was hand-delivered to the president Thursday afternoon.