by Liam Kennedy ‘19
On December 20, 2018, Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned because of President Donald Trump’s lone decision to pull troops out of Syria seemingly by the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Trump conversed with immediately before issuing his order. Trump, who declared a victory against Islamic State forces in Syria, was maddened after rereading Mattis’ resignation letter and removed him from his position before the new year, two months before Mattis’ planned departure. As a result, the Department of Defense is in disorder, with the acting secretary, Patrick M. Shanahan, having little to no preparation.
Trump’s constant disregard to his national security advisors is a threat to the United States. Trump, who has no experience with national security problems, needs to listen to those whose entire careers have been in this field. Almost every single one of his decisions have been misguided, evidenced by the DoD and his national security advisers opposing almost all of his decisions, like adviser John R. Bolton, who is trying to roll back Trump’s plan to withdraw from Syria and possibly delay it months or even years. Trump needs to limit his influence on our national security; he obviously has no idea what he is doing.