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Mattis, once one of “my generals”, loses his influence with Trump

President Trump's decision to suddenly withdraw troops from Syria is a clear opposition to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the last remaining member of military men Trump, once known as "My Generals." Mattis had argued that the fight against terrorism missions in Syria is not over and that the small US presence in Syria should remain, said current and former US officials who spoke on terms of anonymity to share internal political discussions. The Pentagon chief had also tried to explain to Trump that there would be more chaos in the region and future problems for the United States if the troops leave, they said. On Wednesday it became apparent that Trump brushed away his defense secretary's advice. Once considered among the most influential advisors to a president without previous government or military experience, Mattis has been repeatedly surpassed by Trump in recent months and left out key talks as the president strives for his own national security route. The retired four-star Marine Corps General Trump likes to call his divorced nickname, "Mad Dog", is now at a low point in its influence with Trump and possibly even a short-term, current and former US officials said. Mattis is also frustrated that Trump vetoed his election to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation's highest milestone. Trump announced this month that he has chosen Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army Chief of Staff, to replace the current president, Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Gen, who will go down next…

President Trump’s decision to suddenly withdraw troops from Syria is a clear opposition to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the last remaining member of military men Trump, once known as “My Generals.”

Mattis had argued that the fight against terrorism missions in Syria is not over and that the small US presence in Syria should remain, said current and former US officials who spoke on terms of anonymity to share internal political discussions.

The Pentagon chief had also tried to explain to Trump that there would be more chaos in the region and future problems for the United States if the troops leave, they said.

On Wednesday it became apparent that Trump brushed away his defense secretary’s advice.

Once considered among the most influential advisors to a president without previous government or military experience, Mattis has been repeatedly surpassed by Trump in recent months and left out key talks as the president strives for his own national security route.

The retired four-star Marine Corps General Trump likes to call his divorced nickname, “Mad Dog”, is now at a low point in its influence with Trump and possibly even a short-term, current and former US officials said.

Mattis is also frustrated that Trump vetoed his election to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest milestone. Trump announced this month that he has chosen Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army Chief of Staff, to replace the current president, Joseph F. Dunford Jr. Gen, who will go down next fall. Mattis had recommended the Air Force Chief, General Director David L. Goldfein, people who knew the discussions.

Trump also raised Matti’s concern that using US forces to the US-Mexico border this autumn with only a vague mandate for border security. Mattis has told Pentagon leaders to follow orders and they have to do the same, US officials said.

The 68-year-old retired general was the second, only to Trump, to issue blunt military threats to North Korea before the president’s sudden decision in March to seek one-on-one diplomacy with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. Mattis is said to be one of the strongest skeptics of the pledge of denuclearization that Trump claims he received from Kim at a summit in June.

At the beginning of his presidency, Trump often pointed to the military men whom he took in his administration as evidence of his seriousness about taking a tough attack on national security.

But all of the retired and current military officers are now gone (former national security adviser Michael Flynn and HR McMaster), on their way out (John F. Kelly, Managing Director) or Mattis’s push to the sidelines.

“I see my generals – the generals will keep us safe,” said Trump for a lunch shortly after he swore in as president on January 20, 2017. “They will have many problems, the other side.”

He said that the group of military men he had gathered was of central casting and he pointed out Mattis.

“If I make a movie, I choose General, General Mattis,” told Trump to the audience.

At the beginning of the administration, Mattis maintained his influence with Trump even when he repeatedly argued against some of the president’s iconoclastic impulses – tried to explain maps and charts how his decision could harm American interests officials said that these interactions said.

Mattis often weighed in discussion of international trade and US foreign aid, knowing that these subjects are likely to hold the president’s interest, they said.

The relationship between the two men has shown signs of stress in recent months and Trump continues to weigh if he is to hold Mattis in the role and tell counsel at the Oval Office that he does not agree with his defense secretary to much, according to current and former administrative officials .

He rarely looks Mattis today and does not talk to him as often as he did earlier in the administration. [19659019] Mattis, for his part, has told colleagues that he wants to stay.

David Lapan, a former military spokesman and assistant to Kelly when Kelly was Trump’s first home security officer, said that Trump has surprised Mattis and the Pentagon several times. He quoted the ban on transsexual troops, Trumps now canceled plan for a stretched military parade and orders to send troops to the southwest border.

“This is a completely different level than some of the things,” said Lapan of Syria, which involves deploying US forces into a war zone.

Mattis is likely to seek ways to handle the departure of the troops rather than making a problem from opposing it, said Lapan.

If it’s a legal order, and probably this would be, and you do not agree, you carry it or leave it, “says Lapan. Mattis would probably correct the case by saying, “Is there room for this to change in any way?” Saw Lapan.

Trump sees Syria’s decision as a campaign troubleshooter and often regrets that, if it were up to his military advisor, he would never get troops from home, White House assistants said.

Kelly – also an original member of “my generals” club – had also argued to hold over 2000 US forces in Syria. He argues with Mattis and the highest congress republics that power is an important hedge against terrorism and against Iranian and Russian influence.

Trump clarified on Wednesday that he no longer listened to his advice tweeting: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason to be there during the Trump presidency.”

Later that day he added: “After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to take our big young homes! “

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said that the mission is complete because the Islamic state’s” territorial caliphate “had been destroyed. US officials estimate that while the Islamic state, also known as ISIS, has lost almost all its physical foothold in Syria, some fighters continue in the country.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said that “the coalition has freed the ISIS-held territory, but the campaign against ISIS is not over.”

“We have begun the process of returning US troops home from Syria as we move on to the next phase of campaign, “she said.” We continue to work with our partners and allies to defeat ISIS wherever it works. “

Mattis had a lot of business to argue that US troops must stay in Syria, including from the Special Envoy of the Administration for defeat by the Islamic state, Brett McGurk, who told reporters last week that US forces would remain in place to secure their military profits.

“It would be ruthless if we would just say:” Yes, the physical caliphate is defeated so we can only leave now, “says McGurk on December 11th.” I think that the one who saw such a conflict would agree with it. “

Mattis said in September that while the military mission in Syria focuses on the defeat of Islam, he quoted destabilizing Iranian and Russian influences to say that US forces would not go out suddenly.

Dunford said earlier this month that the Pentagon still had “far left” to train local counter-terrorist forces in Syria.

Both state secretary Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton have recently said that the goal in Syria is broader than just countering the Islamic state.

An American official who agreed to short report on terms of anonymity on Wednesday would not disclose internal policy disagreement but said that Trump has been consistent in wanting to pull out US forces.

“It was the president’s decision to do, and he did,” said the official.

The decision first reported by Wall Street Journal and Reuters was apparently done Tuesday. It was not clear whether Mattis or Pompeo knew about Trump’s decision to make his statement Wednesday morning. In both cabinet departments, officials appeared to be unaware when the president’s tweet appeared.

Republican legislators were stunned and angry with several demanding responses from Vice President Pence at a Republican lunch on Wednesday why they were held in the dark. [19659040] “I do not know what it is. I have not been informed. I’m completely blind, and I think it will be very questionable,” said Lindsey O. Graham (SC) in an interview. ISIS has become a serious blow but not defeated. If a decision has been made to withdraw our forces in Syria, the likelihood of their return dramatically increases, “while Iran, Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad benefit from US void.”

Senators told for Pence, “We did not appreciate reading this decision in the paper,” said Graham.

Missy Ryan and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

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