Pentagon chief Mattis quits, citing policy differences with Trump
By Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who was known as a stabilizing force in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday. His departure had been anticipated since Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing U.S
By Phil Stewart and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who was known as a stabilizing force in President Donald Trump's Cabinet, will leave his job at the end of February, Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.
His departure had been anticipated since Trump announced on Wednesday that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria despite opposition from U.S. allies and top U.S. military officials.
Mattis said in his resignation letter that he was stepping down so Trump could have a defence chief whose views align more closely with his own.
Trump said he would nominate a successor to Mattis shortly.
Mattis joins a long list of former Trump administration senior figures who have either quit or been removed, some unceremoniously like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who Trump fired via Twitter in March.
Trump's White House has had the highest turnover of senior-level staff of the past five presidents, according to the Brookings Institution think tank.
Speculation that Mattis might not last long in his post grew in October when Trump said in a CBS interview that the general was "sort of a Democrat" and might be leaving.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Tim Ahmann and James Dalgleish)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.