Mattis wishes troops 'Merry Christmas' ahead of departure

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to Leave His Position on January 1st President Trump Reveals via Twitter

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will now leave his post on January 1, tweeting that deputy Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary to cover the accelerated departure.

A key unanswered question is what the administration will do for the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which have gotten weapons and training to fight Islamic State insurgents. "As I have said many times in other circumstances, Jim knows who he is ... many more Americans [now] know his character". "Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.".

Trump, who tweeted on Thursday that Mattis was "retiring, with distinction, at the end of February", made his displeasure clear on Saturday by tweeting that the retired Marine general had been "ingloriously fired" by former President Barack Obama and he had given Mattis a second chance.

McGurk called Trump's move to leave Syria "a shock" and "a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us", in an email announcing his decision to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times. They were "not all military", said Sen.

President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters about an impending U.S. Government shutdown as he participates in a bill signing ceremony for the "First Step Act" and the "Juvenile Justice Reform Act" in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, December 21, 2018. "I DO, and it is being fixed!"

Unlike the seemingly endless number of Trump officials who have left an Administration that is setting records for turnover, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis decided not to "go gently into that good night". They were "not all military", said Sen.

But Trump reportedly grew angry and pushed the Pentagon chief out early. Historically when a secretary has resigned, he has stayed on until a successor is confirmed.

Shanahan also has overseen the Pentagon's audit, its development of a new missile defence policy that still has not been released and a fledgling effort to reduce waste in military expenditures. His father was in the Army and deployed to Vietnam. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington, then a master's degree in mechanical engineering as well as an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent over three decades working for Boeing, including as vice-president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defence Systems, before moving to the Pentagon as deputy past year.

"Mattis's holiday message, posted on Twitter by the Department of Defense and titled "#SecDef Mattis's Holiday Letter to the Troops", has seven numbered paragraphs and is in all caps, which may be Pentagon style.

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