Although Mattis is hailed as a "national treasure" and praised for his moral compass and his "solid verdict", talks with several US defense officials reflect a frustration with the outgoing Defense Minister.
While some of these frustrations overshadow President Donald Trump's decision to remove Mattis on January 1 two months earlier than originally scheduled, he is overshadowed. These sources indicate that the General's tendency to exercise strict control may have contributed to the crisis that ended Wednesday with the end of Trump's US military presence in Syria and scaled back Afghanistan.
Mattis resigned because Trump did not decide on Syria's decision, which could probably strengthen Russia and Iran and endanger both Syrian and Kurdish Syrian Kurds who represent US allies. Citing US and Turkish officials, the Associated Press reported that last week, the president agreed to a withdrawal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan without consulting his national security team or US allies.
Mattis' resignation announced an extension period of tension with the president, although fundamental differences have long existed. Mattis is a 68-year-old man who has dedicated his life to the military. Meanwhile, Trump is a 72-year-old man drawn to heroic military figures, but as a young man has repeatedly resisted the draft and has yet to make the usual presidential visit to troops in overseas battlefields.
Several government officials tell CNN that they believe that if Mattis and Trump were in fact at odds for months who had a duty to leave the secretary much earlier than he did. He has waited too long to act, and now they say the Kurds will pay the price.
These officials argue that Mattis had left for Trump when, in an October CBS "60 Minutes" interview with a Democrat, "there could have been another Defense Minister who might talk the president out of troop withdrawal could."
"Writing a formal letter and personally presenting it to the boss was just the thing to do, which is very much in line with military practice," said John Kirby, CNN's military and diplomatic analyst and retired Rear Admiral , He added, "Since this letter is so long and philosophical, it reads almost like a manifesto and aggressively presses it into the media shortly after delivery, with little more than a chance for salvation and a chance before Trump Spin. "
But Mattis is the same person he has always been, said the officials, none of whom are Trump supporters. They portray the secretary as driven by his own views and determination not to annoy Trump, adding that public orchestration does not do well in his departure in some military circles.
CNN has contacted the Pentagon to comment.
A US Defense official said Trump had pushed ahead with a bold agenda that helped shape Mattis. He convinced Trump to launch a new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, calling for more troop strength and more military autonomy, helped unify a coalition to defeat the IS, and was the first in the administration to be the NATO member , the official members, asked to increase defense spending said.
"The President was the only one who was elected, and he needs to implement his agenda by having people who share his point of view." When the secretary realized that he was no longer well connected with the president, he gave his Position from resignation, "said a US defense official. "There is a long list of former and current government officials, lawmakers, and others trying to convince the president to make other decisions, but President Trump is his own man, and so is Jim Mattis."
The Defense Department has published Mattis' resignation letters on Facebook and on his website. Some see this as an irreverent dig of the president. And several defense officials are eagerly behind the reporters. They say that more civil servants will also step down, although no Defense Department staff has done so yet.
A military officer who regularly speaks to Mattis called his letter to anyone who contacted him. However, this is especially true of the General Officers Corps, which should see a sign of resignation if they also have problems with Trump's policy.
While no signs of US withdrawal yet Brett McGurk, the US ambassador to the coalition in the fight against ISIS, resigned on Friday because of Trump's decision to pull US forces out of Syria.
One defense attorney pointed to a substantial portion of Mattis' deduction and said the secretary's exit could be a relief to some.
Mattis limited access to information and shivered members of the military who speak in public. Some may be relieved to see him go if they are now freer for their agenda, the official said.
Mattis also advised senior officials not to interact directly with the president and feared that Trump might suddenly give them orders – high-ranking officers would have had no choice but to do Trump, said a defense official.
The Air Expires
Leading battlefield commanders who could meet with the President were dismayed that he had no questions and showed no interest, CNN confirms.
Mattis' strategy to deal with Trump had finally left the runway. He avoided speaking publicly because he was afraid of conflicting with or being contradicted by Trump. He also tried to delay tactics on issues like the Syrian withdrawal, which was on the table all year round.
After Matti's term, the officials speculate that Trump is unlikely to turn to another retired general who will become the US Secretary of Defense.
Two names tossed as the next Secretary of Defense are Mark Esper, the army secretary, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has already been appointed deputy secretary.
It remains to be seen if they will fare better than Mattis.