News

White House

James Mattis to Retire at the End of February

James Mattis (Michaela Rehle/Reuters)

Secretary of Defense General James Mattis will retire at the end of February, President Trump announced in a series of Thursday afternoon tweets.

In his resignation letter to Trump, Mattis explained that he believes the president deserves to work with a secretary of defense “whose views are better aligned with yours.” The letter also alludes to Mattis and Trump’s longstanding disagreement over the importance of America’s relationship with NATO allies.

“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,” Mattis wrote. “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.”

“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,” he continued.

The unexpected resignation comes just one day after Trump announced the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria, and just hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump plans to similarly withdraw an undetermined number of troops from Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

News of the immediate withdrawal from Syria reportedly surprised lawmakers and senior Pentagon officials alike, as administration officials maintained up until just days ago that there would be no changes to the status quo in the near future.

Trump’s decision to immediately withdraw troops from Syria has also unsettled America’s Kurdish allies who will become vulnerable to an attack by Turkey without U.S. support.

Most Popular

U.S.

Men Literally Died for That Flag, You Idiots

The American flag’s place in our culture is beginning to look less unassailable. The symbol itself is under attack, as we’ve seen with Nike dumping a shoe design featuring an early American flag, Megan Rapinoe defending her national-anthem protests (she says she will never sing the song again), and ... Read More
Books

The Plot against Kavanaugh

Justice on Trial, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino (Regnery,  256 pp., $28.99) The nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the political event of 2018, though not for the reasons anyone expected. All High Court confirmations these days are fraught with emotion and tumult ... Read More
Politics & Policy

He Just Can’t Help Himself

By Saturday, the long-simmering fight between Nancy Pelosi and her allies on one side and the “squad” associated with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the other had risen to an angrier and more destructive level at the Netroots Nation conference. Representative Ayanna Pressley, an African-American Massachusetts ... Read More
White House

On Gratitude and Immigration

Like both Rich and David, I consider it flatly inappropriate for the president of the United States to be telling Americans -- rhetorically or otherwise -- to “go back where you came from.” In consequence, you will find no defense of the president from me, either. What Trump tweeted over the weekend was ... Read More
Education

Gender Dissenter Gets Fired

Allan M. Josephson is a distinguished psychiatrist who, since 2003, has transformed the division of child and adolescent psychiatry and psychology at the University of Louisville from a struggling department to a nationally acclaimed program. In the fall of 2017 he appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More