After Mattis’s Resignation, a President Unbound

By Mark Landler
December 21, 2018
For most of his tumultuous 23 months in office, President Trump has tried to shake off anyone who would restrain his insurgent style of leadership. With the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Mr. Trump is at last a president unbound”
Even for some Republicans, this was a deeply unsettling prospect, especially after a week in which Mr. Trump rejected a deal to keep the government running, openly criticized the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates and announced that the United States would pull 2,000 troops out of Syria, without consulting allies or warning Congress.

The Secretary Of Reassurance Has Resigned: Farewell To Mattis

December 20, 2018
After two years of reassuring US allies that Donald Trump’s America would not abandon them, Jim Mattis finally had enough.
Even before Trump was sworn in as president, the announcement that he would pick Mattis as his Secretary of Defense was met with delighted relief “from the right, from the left, and from overseas.” Within hours, both the British and Norwegian defense ministers — coincidentally attending a conference in the US — were praising Mattis from the podium at the Reagan Library in California.
But the question has swirled since the day his nomination was confirmed by the Senate: “How long will Mattis last?”

Dec.20, 2018
President Trump on Thursday tweeted that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would be leaving the Pentagon in February. The news comes a day after the president announced troop withdrawals in Syria.
Shortly after Mr. Trump’s post, Mr. Mattis released a letter he wrote to Mr. Trump acknowledging that the president had a right to a defense secretary with views “better aligned” with his.
Below is the full text of that letter, as released by the Defense Department.

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Under the Guise of Protecting Human Rights and Establishing Democracy: US Intervention in Sri Lanka

With the retirement of the secretary of defense, the U.S. risks a return to the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used after Sept. 11.
Βυ J. Kael Weston 
Dec. 20, 2018
Last spring, at Marine Corps University, I listened to a large group of Marine captains discuss the moral dimensions of war. The My Lai massacre in Vietnam and Haditha in Iraq were two of their case studies — the latter being one of the Marine Corps’ most controversial chapters in the Iraq war.
In that 2005 incident, about two dozen Iraqi civilians, including women and children, were killed. A number of Marines were later charged with war crimes, though only one received a formal sentence — 90 days in a military prison that were never served.