News analysis

Why US allies should worry about Defence Secretary James Mattis' departure

General Mattis is seen as a hard nosed but cool-headed military man, able to mitigate President Donald Trump's impulses. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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WASHINGTON - Defence Secretary James Mattis' imminent departure is not good news for America's allies. And at home, it is the first major public rift of the defence establishment with the mercurial President.

The former marine general's resignation letter, in which he said the President should find a Secretary of Defence more aligned with him, was a "stunning rebuke of the President's leadership, his world view… and his actions that have caused key allies to call into question US resolve and commitments to uphold our alliance obligations", Dr Zachary Abuza, professor at the National War College in Washington, told The Straits Times.

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