Fear and loathing in DC as Mad Dog leaves the building

The departure of defense secretary James Mattis from Donald Trump’s administration raises the spectre of an out-of-control president wreaking havoc with his increasingly erratic foreign policy

23rd December, 2018
James Mattis pictured with Donald Trump: the US secretary of defense resigned last week after the president announced that he was withdrawing troops from Syria Picture: Getty

‘Oh, shit.” That was how Democratic Representative John Garamendi greeted the news that James Mattis had resigned his position as US secretary of defense in protest at president Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw US troops from Syria, just weeks after Mattis had assured Kurdish fighting forces in the region that US troops would remain indefinitely.

It was a response that reflected the unalloyed dismay of Republicans and Democrats alike at...

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