Now that’s how things like this should be handled!
When a high government official and the President of the United States have a fundamental disagreement about government policy the government official should resign and do so stating the reason for his resignation.
The President, as Commander in Chief, is in charge of the military. His Secretary of Defense is the one who carries out the hi policies. Of course, he can advise the President, even argue his case, but he is required to carry out the President’s policies.
Because the President, not the Secretaryof Defense, was elected by the people.
This does not mean that the President’s policies are the right ones, but they are the ones that count.
I believed that President Obama’s policies – foreign and domestic – were wrong and made the country and the world worse off. But I would not expect his Cabinet secretaries to obstruct him or defy his policies.
Are Trump’s policies of withdrawal from a number of long-term foreign wars right or wrong. Time will tell.
A case can be made that keeping American troops in in foreign wars will prevent adversaries from increasing their influence in those regions. Withdrawal will signal admission of defeat and result in loss of face as well as trust of our allies. I suspect that General Mattis believes this to be the case.
A case can also be made that participation in endless wars without a strategy for winning is wrong morally, financially and strategically.
America is a wealthy country with a gargantuan debt and a dysfunctional political system that is unwilling to defend its own borders even as it attempts to defend foreign borders.
Spending billions, sending American men and women to die or be maimed in foreign lands with no prospect of victory is immoral. Attempting to impose our values on cultures that don’t share out values – who, in many cases despises our values - is foolish.
What’s curious is that those who only yesterday opposed these wars are today demanding that we continue them. The real reason for the screams of outrage on the Left is that (1) this is President Trump’s policy and they oppose Trump in everything and (2) they saw General Mattis as America’s real military leader who made military policy. They simply can’t stand the fact that Donald Trump is actually telling everyone that he is the Commander in Chief.
I have the utmost respect for General Mattis and I believe he will be missed. But I also believe that continuing to do what we have been doing, sending our military to hundreds of foreign fields to fight and die will be a slow-motion suicide for this nation.
We need to define out national interest, defend those interests vigorously, and husband our resources so that when we go to war, we go to win. I heard someone ask the question recently: “when was the last time America won a war?” Putting American troops into the battle line for a stalemate is not the answer.