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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# James Mattis
US defence secretary Mattis has resigned
Trump has said that a new Secretary of Defence will be named shortly.

Trump Mattis Pablo Martinez Monsivais / PA Images US defence secretary Jim Mattis Pablo Martinez Monsivais / PA Images / PA Images

US DEFENCE SECRETARY James Mattis is leaving his role at the end of February.

The former general was appointed defence secretary in late 2016. His resignation comes one day after Trump announced he was pulling all US troops out of Syria

In his resignation letter Mattis says that because Trump had the right to a defence secretary “whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step do.”

“General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,” Trump tweeted. 

During his military career, Mattis commanded a battalion in the Persian Gulf War and then went on as a colonel to lead a regiment in the war in Afghanistan.  He was known throughout his time in the military for being a hands-on leader, and as a major general he commanded a division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

 He sparked controversy in 2005 when, during a panel discussion in California, he said it was “fun to shoot some people”.

You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.

Mattis will be the latest official to leave a turbulent White House, where Trump is already on his third national security adviser and second secretary of state.

Trump has said that a new Secretary of Defence will be named shortly. 

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