Former Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that it is “a given” the Islamic State will resurge after U.S. troops withdraw from Syria.
Mattis’s comment came amid reports of the Trump administration withdrawing troops from northern Syria.
“We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don’t recover,” Mattis told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“We may want a war over, we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out, as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote,’ we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge,” Mattis added. “It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”
Mattis announced his resignation Dec. 20, 2018. The former defense secretary’s resignation letter revealed he and Trump did not see eye to eye on foreign policy, including the withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan. (RELATED: Trump Forces Mattis Out Two Months Ahead Of Schedule)
Mattis farewell message: “Our Department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult. So keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.” pic.twitter.com/YuxnfkutGg
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 31, 2018
“[Y]ou have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects,” Mattis wrote the president.
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