James Mattis quits as White House braces for exit from Afghanistan

James Mattis quits as White House braces for exit from Afghanistan, by Cameron Stewart.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has resigned because of differences with Donald Trump who this week ignored his advice to keep US troops in Syria to fight Islamic State.

The shock resignation, which takes effect in February, comes as the President considers a substantial reduction of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan only a day after his controversial decision to withdraw all 2000 troops from Syria.

In his resignation letter to the president, Mr Mattis in effect said that he could no longer work with a president whose views differed so much from his own. …

Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, 2007

The news broke at the same time as reports that Mr Trump is considering reducing US military involvement in Afghanistan. …

Mr Trump has long wanted to reduce or end the US military mission in Afghanistan but has been persuaded by experts in the past to retain a substantial US military presence in the country.

Around 300 Australian Defense Force personnel are currently in Afghanistan supporting the NATO-led mission, Resolute Support, to help train Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban. …

General Mattis’ resignation is a sign Australia needs a self-reliant defence strategy, Liberal Senator Jim Molan said.