21 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Mattis out: Defense secretary says his views no longer aligned with Trump

By: and

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday announced he will step down from that post by the end of the February, leaving a significant leadership void in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

In his resignation letter Thursday, Mattis told Trump he was making the move to allow the president to find “a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours.”

Mattis, a former Marine Corps general, is regarded highly among defense experts and is a well-respected military mind among lawmakers. On numerous occasions over the last two years, both Republicans and Democrats have lauded him as a calming presence within the turbulent Trump administration and a voice of reason for the sometimes impulsive commander in chief.

He's also wildly popular among troops. A Military Times poll conducted in late September found that nearly 84 percent of troops had a favorable view of his work leading the armed forces. Among officers, the figure was almost 90 percent.

But Mattis' relationship with Trump had appeared to sour in recent months as the president pushed for more aggressive military policies.

Read Mattis' full letter here.

Pentagon officials appeared caught unaware by sudden decisions made in the Oval Office on forming a new Space Force, sending troops to the southern U.S. border, and banning transgender recruits from the ranks. This week, Mattis and other top defense officials appeared to be surprised by Trump's plans for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria.

On Twitter Thursday, Trump hailed Mattis for “tremendous progress” on helping to rebuild the military, including “the purchase of new fighting equipment” and “getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations.”

He said a new secretary of defense would be announced in coming days. Expect the names of Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Jack Keane, a retired Army general who was an early supporter for Trump, to pop up in discussions.

In his resignation letter, Mattis said he was “proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years in ... putting the department on more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the department's business practices.”

But he also took aim at several Trump policies that caused friction between the White House and the Pentagon.

In the letter, Mattis wrote that he believes America “must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours.”

That includes “treating allies with respect” and doing “everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values.”

He also specifically mentioned both the defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations and NATO as “proof” alliances that have benefited America,

The timing of the resignation — just a day after Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, reportedly over the objections of Mattis — is noteworthy, especially given Mattis' reference to the ISIS coalition in his letter.

Appearing on CNN shortly after the announcement, Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller did nothing to quell the idea that Mattis quit over the Syria decision, saying it is time for Trump “to get a new secretary of defense who will be aligned with the president” on a variety of issues, specifically calling out Syria and burden sharing among NATO allies.

Miller also reiterated Trump's statements that it is time for Syria and Russia to take over the fight against ISIS, while railing against the decision of America to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq. When asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if the administration intended to leave those countries as well, Miller said “I have absolutely no policy announcements of any kind to make tonight, whatsoever.”

For months, speculation has swirled around whether Mattis could survive into year three of the administration, particularly after Trump labeled him as “sort of a Democrat” during an interview in October.

However, he appeared to solidify his position within the administration in the days leading up to the mid-term elections, with a full-throated support for the president's decision to send troops to the border.

Mattis said the February leave date is designed to ensure a new defense secretary is in place well before September's changeover of the chairman of the joint chief of staff. Just two weeks ago, Trump announced that Gen. Mark Milley, the current army chief of staff, would be his nominee to replace current chairman Gen. Joe Dunford.

The announcement, coming almost 10 months before Dunford's term was over, caught many by surprise, and now sets up the military for a wholesale leadership change in 2019.

It also represented another pressure point between Trump and the secretary. Both Mattis and Dunford supported the candidacy of Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force's top officer, but Trump picked Milley instead.

Along with Dunford, all of the joint chiefs are in line to turn over in 2019, meaning a new secretary will also have a new group of the highest uniformed officials to work with.


Sur le même sujet

  • France, Germany sign agreement to build sixth-generation fighter plane

    25 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    France, Germany sign agreement to build sixth-generation fighter plane

    By Ed Adamczyk Feb. 24 (UPI) -- An agreement to advance construction of a joint advanced combat aircraft program was ceremonially signed by French and German defense ministers. A contract for the first phase of the program to build the main aircraft of the Future Combat Air System was awarded last week. It covers the plane's propulsion system, data architecture and simulation environment, the German Defense Ministry said. Airbus, MTU, Safran and Dassault are the lead contractors. Plans for the program include development of a Next-Generation Weapon System whose components include remote carrier vehicles known as "swarming drones" and a sixth-generation fighter plane intended to be ready by 2035 to replace current Rafales, Eurofighters and F-18 Hornet planes. The plane and drones are expected to work in tandem. Two additional areas of work, involving the plane's sensors and stealth capabilities, remain under discussion. The cost of the first phase of the program, which is expected to take 18 months, will cost about $166 million and will be equally shared by Germany and France. Florence Parly, the French defense minister, and her German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer ceremonially signed the agreement in Paris on Thursday. While Spain joined the program after it was announced in 2019, and Angelo Olivares, Spain's deputy defense minister, was present at the signing, it is currently a two-nation project. Spain's contributory share remains a topic of negotiation, but it is expected to join and help pay for the project later this year. A flying demonstrator version of the fighter plane is expected by 2026. A mockup of the plane, a shell with no internal components, was unveiled in June 2019 at the Paris Air Show. https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/02/24/France-Germany-sign-agreement-to-build-sixth-generation-fighter-plane

  • Pakistan’s private industry clashes with government over regulations

    11 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Pakistan’s private industry clashes with government over regulations

    By: Usman Ansari ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani government's restrictions on the defense industry are stifling potential and must go, according to the president of the trade body Pakistan Aerospace Council. PAeC is a collective of aerospace, defense and high-tech electronics enterprises that aims to internationally raise the profile of Pakistani industry. Its leader, Haroon Qureshi, heads the defense engineering and electronics company East West Infiniti. In a June 3 post on the PAeC website, Qureshi said Pakistan's private, high-tech manufacturers have the potential to help establish a more ambitious local aviation industry by acting as suppliers to and manufacturers of components and systems used by Western counterparts. However, this is hampered by government restrictions that demand permission prior to even design work. Without these restrictions, Qureshi believes the private sector could “leap-frog, especially with electronics of the future.” Citing the success of private space companies in the United States, Qureshi said if the Pakistani government frees the high-tech private sector to “innovate and do what the private industry thinks is feasible and viable,” those businesses would not use public funds and probably generate income for the government through taxes. In response to PAeC's comments, the Ministry of Defence Production told Defense News the government recognizes and actively promotes the importance of “indigenization and cooperation between the private sector and the defense-related industry.” However, it denied there are stifling constraints on the private sector, saying the market meets both domestic and export demand, but because of “international obligations/treaties, especially the measures taken to counter terrorism, certain limitations have to be observed.” Nevertheless, the ministry added, “measures are under deliberation to further facilitate the private sector in forthcoming defense production policy,” including the creation of a unit for so-called one-window operations — an approach meant to shorten the lengthy bureaucratic process. It also cited recent supplier and vendors exhibitions as well as a defense production seminar to promote cooperation among private businesses. The government is also preparing a “Defence Offset Policy" to encourage the private sector to absorb the “latest defense and dual-purpose technologies,” the ministry said. But author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said Qureshi's concern has existed for years, and the government's regulations are driven by security fears. “Whenever private industry wants to get involved in any aspect of defense production, the security people and bureaucrats in the defense system roll out objections, based mainly on the possibility of leakage of technical information and thus jeopardy of ‘national security,' ” he said. “It's been a real headache, and I continue to be surprised that the private sector has continued its efforts for so long.” Despite the government's efforts, Shehzad Ahmed Mir, managing director of the private defense company Bow Systems, remains unconvinced. “While MoDP lives in a self-pleasing, make-believe cocoon devoid of market realities, similar companies created much later in the West are literally thriving financially and technologically today simply because their respective governments gave them subsidies, export incentives, financial support, etc., compared to our government that drowns their ambitions in [no objection certificates], taxation whirlpools, bureaucratic hurdles, etc.,” he said. “So by the time — and if at all — MoDP comes out with any good news for the private sector, there won't be anyone credible around to jubilate on it.” https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2020/06/10/pakistans-private-industry-clashes-with-government-over-regulations/

  • How Space Development Agency contractors are mitigating supply chain issues

    10 juin 2022 | International, Aérospatial

    How Space Development Agency contractors are mitigating supply chain issues

    Early planning, as well as collaboration and problem solving from its prime contractors, has helped SDA lessen the impact of supply chain issues that have affected the space industry in recent years.

Toutes les nouvelles