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Donald Trump

Say goodbye to Mattis, say hello to Trump family command?

  • The reality TV star-turned US president who popularised ‘You’re fired!’ may soon have no one who isn’t a relative willing to work for him
PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2019, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2019, 5:12pm

President Donald Trump’s spur of the moment decision to have the US military withdrawn from Syria is widely believed to be the immediate cause for the resignation of James Mattis, his secretary of defence (“Mattis quits as Trump’s defence chief, writes scathing resignation letter”, December 21).

As in Trump’s once-popular TV program The Apprentice, “You’re fired!” (or “You are to resign”) has become a catchphrase in the Trump administration since his early days in office.

In Mattis’ resignation letters, the former four-star marine general mentions that the United States “is inextricably linked to our unique and comprehensive system of alliances” and that the US is an indispensable nation that should show respect and provide effective leadership to its allies.

Post-Mattis, a few reminders for the next US defence chief

Now Trump has decided to withdraw all 2,000 ground troops from Syria, and halve the number of US troops stationed in Afghanistan. This is bound to give a free rein to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria to go all out against the rebels. And, to be sure, Russia will be happy to take this great chance to expand its momentum in the Middle East. After all, US presence in Syria was meant to counter the influence of Russia and Iran. The US withdrawal will also undermine allied forces like the Syrian Kurds, who fought alongside the Western coalition against Islamic State, and leave them vulnerable to a crackdown from Turkey.

Meanwhile, the arrogance and egocentrism of Donald Trump have made, and will make, many stay well clear of being a part of his administration. However, very soon we might see the Trump administration filled up with even more of his family members. Yes, a “Trump family administration”: that’s not fake news at all.

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan