‘Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.’
Mattis’ resignation has been troubling for many because he was respected around the world and seen as a “comfort blanket.” Once again, it was reported on Tuesday that another general has resigned from the Trump Administration.
According to CBS News:
‘Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine Corps general and former head of U.S. Central Command who has been working as an envoy for the Trump administration to resolve a dispute with Qatar, has resigned from his position with the State Department. He is the latest four-star general to exit the administration.’
Zinni resigned after a realization that he could not solve the Qatar dispute “because of the unwillingness of the regional leaders to agree to a viable mediation effort that we offered to conduct or assist in implementing.” According to Arab News:
‘The US, which sees Saudi Arabia as one of its its closest allies in the region but also has thousands of troops stationed at a vast military base in Qatar, has been keen to resolve the dispute. But attempts both by Washington and Kuwait to mediate a way forward have failed.’
‘Zinni also felt there was no need for his involvement with the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) concept — a NATO-style security alliance — that he was asked to introduce to regional leaders, since other members of the administration are carrying it forward. ‘
One senior State Department official described Zinni’s departure as a “soft resignation.” Originally, Zinni had agreed to work as a special adviser to the secretary of state on Middle East issues at the request of then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Both have now left the administration due to significant policy differences with the president.
According to CBS:
‘Zinni later coordinated with former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, then later current national security adviser John Bolton. Zinni described his working relationship with them as “excellent,” and the inter-agency cooperation on the issues he worked on “impressive.”‘
Under President George W. Bush, Zinni served as special envoy to the Middle East.
Spokesman Robert Palladino said that the Trump Administration will continue to pursue Anthony Zinni’s work. Palladino expressed appreciation for Zinni’s work, but included discussing with regional leaders the idea of a NATO-like group called the Middle East Strategic Alliance.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a tour of Middle East capitals and will stop in Qatar.
According to Fortune, now all of Trump’s generals are gone. Fortune reported:
‘Mattis proffered his resignation on Dec. 20 after Trump abruptly decided to withdraw American troops from Syria, declaring the war against ISIS successful and complete. Though it didn’t offer any direct criticism of the president, Mattis’s resignation letter expressed a view of “alliances and partnerships” at odds with Trump’s erratic and shifting strategy. Also worth noting: The letter had no words of praise for the commander-in-chief, either.’
The fact that high-ranking generals are strongly at odds with the Trump Administration speaks volumes and is quite problematic, to say the least.
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