US Allies Worry about Mattis’ Resignation
Traditional allies of the United States are expressing concern about the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
President Donald Trump announced Thursday that Mattis will leave the job in February. The announcement came a day after Trump said that U.S. troops would leave Syria.
The Defense Department opposed the troop withdrawal.
For several years, U.S.-supported forces in the Middle East have made progress against the Islamic State (IS). Defeating IS forces was just one part of a plan Mattis had for Syria. He wanted to reduce U.S. troop numbers there after successful completion of the three-part plan.
The president and Mattis disagreed on the issue. They also have different ideas about support for America's traditional alliances. In his resignation letter, Mattis wrote that the United States cannot protect its interests without "showing respect to (our) allies."
The French Defense Minister Florence Parly spoke about the resignation. She said that French forces were in the Middle East as part of a coalition "led by the Americans." Trump's decision "changes that situation," she added.
Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, wrote that "If allies cannot be relied upon, others are sought to take their place." The social networking website Twitter published his comments.
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt tweeted the U.S. move was a "morning of alarm in Europe."
Defense Secretary Mattis is one of the most highly respected members of Trump's foreign policy team. He helped lead the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and later led the U.S. Central Command until he retired in 2013.
In his resignation letter to Trump, Mattis wrote that the president should have a Secretary of Defense who agreed with him on foreign policy. He added, "I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."
In addition to Syria, the two men disagreed about other issues, such the president's decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran. They also have differences of opinion about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump has praised Putin's leadership skills. Mattis believed the Russian president was interfering with Western democracies.
Russia has praised the U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria. In a separate move, Trump ordered the Defense Department to plan to withdraw about 50 percent of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. That withdrawal will reportedly begin in January 2019.
U.S. congressional reaction
Reacting to Mattis' resignation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was "distressed" that it resulted from "differences (about) America's global leadership."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was "shaken" by the resignation and described it as "very serious for our country."
"This is scary," tweeted Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. He is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Trump's decision to leave Syria breaks with one of America's longtime allies, the Kurds. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened in recent days to launch a military operation against U.S.-aided Kurdish militiamen now fighting in northeastern Syria.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.Defense Secretary 国防部长
The Defense Secretary gave an upbeat assessment of the war so far.
2.military operation 军事行动
The military operation was the first step in a plan to crush the uprising.
3.leadership skills 领导才能
These students have leadership skills, tenacity, a strong work ethic and an interesting world view.
4.foreign policy 外交政策
He described their foreign policy as on hold.
5.Alistair Burt wrote that "If allies cannot be relied upon, others are sought to take their place..
relied upon 依靠；依赖
We know such people are not to be relied upon.
The factories no longer relied upon a mechanic to put together looms within the plant.
6.In addition to Syria, the two men disagreed about other issues, such the president's decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.
pull out of 退出；取消
The World Bank should pull out of the project.
France was going to pull out of NATO.
周四，美国总统特朗普宣布马蒂斯将于2月份离职 。这一消息是在特朗普宣布将从叙利亚撤军后的次日宣布的 。
多年来，由美国支持的中东势力在打击“伊斯兰国”方面取得了进展 。击败“伊斯兰国”只是马蒂斯制定的叙利亚计划的一部分 。他希望成功完成三部分的计划后再减少驻叙美军人数 。
特朗普总统和马蒂斯在该问题上意见不一致 。他们对支持美国传统盟友一事也存在分歧 。马蒂斯在辞职信中写道，如果不尊重我们的盟友，美国将无法保障自身的利益 。
法国国防部长帕利谈到了马蒂斯辞职一事 。她说，作为美国领导的盟军的一部分，法国军队也在中东驻军 。她补充说，特朗普的决定改写了“这一局面” 。
英国中东国务大臣阿利斯泰尔·伯特写道，“如果盟友无法依靠，那么其他人将取而代之 。”社交网站推特发表了他的评论 。
国防部长马蒂斯是特朗普外交政策团队中最具威信的成员之一 。他在2003年帮助领导了入侵伊拉克，后来执掌美国中央司令部直到2013年退休 。
马蒂斯在递交给特朗普的辞职信中称，特朗普总统应该寻求一位认同其外交政策的国防部长 。他补充说，“我认为我辞职是正确的 。”
除了叙利亚，两人在其它问题上也存在分歧，如特朗普决定让美国退出与伊朗的核协议 。他们对俄罗斯总统普京的立场也不一致 。
特朗普曾称赞普京的领导才能 。马蒂斯认为，俄罗斯总统是在干涉西方民主国家 。
俄罗斯称赞了美国撤军叙利亚的决定 。另外，特朗普还命令国防部计划撤出约半数的驻阿富汗的1.4万名美军 。据报道，撤军行动将于2019年1月开始 。
弗吉尼亚州参议员华纳发推说：“这太可怕了 。”他是参议院情报委员会的民主党领袖 。
特朗普撤军叙利亚的决定背弃了美国长期盟友之一的库尔德人 。近几日，土耳其总统埃尔多安威胁称，将对在叙利亚东北部作战的库尔德民兵（美国支持）发动军事行动 。