Donald Trump boasts he 'essentially' fired James Mattis

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After a string of policy clashes over the past almost two years, Mr. Mattis resigned abruptly in the wake of Mr. Trump's order late last month to withdraw all 2,000 USA forces now deployed to Syria, and slash the 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan by half in the coming year, citing in part the strain Mr. Trump's policies have placed on America's allies.

Obama let Mattis go as the head of US Central Command in 2013 in large part because of Mattis' increasingly hawkish stance on Iran.

Mattis stepped down from his role in December following President Donald Trump's abrupt announcement that he is pulling troops out of Syria He has been temporarily replaced by his former deputy, Patrick Shanahan.

"While we are focused on ongoing operations, Acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to remember China, China, China", the defense official said. But as you know, President Obama fired him and essentially so did I.

As he started his new job, Shanahan, who previously served as deputy defense secretary, told the Pentagon to focus on the National Defense Strategy, a Mattis-era review that highlights a new era of "Great Power competition" with Russian Federation and China.

In fact, Mattis tendered his resignation in response to Trump's announcement that he would withdraw all 2,000 US troops deployed to Syria within the next several months.

In televised remarks on January 2, Trump said he "essentially fired" Mattis. The 2018 National Defense Strategy, which Shanahan helped develop, branded China as a strategic competitor.

"He is one of the absolutely very best we have had as the chief financial officer and under comptroller, and the budget will be paramount in the next six weeks", Punaro said, adding that Norquist is "highly respected on the Hill and in the building".

Webb, largely viewed as a moderate Democrat with Republican presidential administration credentials under his belt, said that resolving issues with the U.S.

Shanahan, 56, did not serve in the military but has worked since July 2017 as the deputy defense secretary.

Despite a lack of foreign policy or military experience, Shanahan's executive and technical knowledge made him well suited for the Pentagon's number two position, which focuses more on the Defense Department's business side.

Expressing happiness over Shanahan's appointment, acting assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Charles E. Summers, Jr. tweeted, "It was a great day leading the highly talented team at the Office of Secretary of Defense-Public Affairs".

But some critics have questioned whether a man with deep industry ties should be running the Pentagon.

"The National Defence Strategy is [Mattis'] strategy", Shanahan said.

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