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Donald Trump

With James Mattis, reason has left the Trump White House

    PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 1:11am
    UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 1:48am

    I refer to the article, “‘Last adult’ James Mattis leaves the room: what next for Asia?” (December 21).

    US Defence Secretary James Mattis has been a stanchion in the Donald Trump cabinet, a pillar to hold onto when presidential bluster augured to obscure national security common sense.

    But even this seasoned patriot, as others before him in the executive branch, felt that the slings and arrows of President Trump’s errant tongue and chaotic decision-making had diminished his influence.

    Not only was the defence secretary’s moderate voice muffled amid a rising chorus of more hawkish advisers, but he was gratuitously demeaned by the president when the commander-in-chief designated a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff without consulting his chief military adviser.

    Ditto when the president decided that troop drawdowns in Syria and Afghanistan did not require an opinion from the erstwhile four-star Marine general. We are all diminished when experience, competence and reason leave the government.

    Paul Bloustein, Ohio