Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led the Pentagon through the first two years of the Trump administration, warned during an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the president’s decision to pull troops from Syria’s border in advance of a Turkish incursion could have dire consequences and lead to ISIS’s resurgence.
“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. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”
“Turkey has been planning to attack the Kurds for a long time. They have been fighting forever. We have no soldiers or Military anywhere near the attack area. I am trying to end the ENDLESS WARS,” the president said.
Trump said in an additional series of tweets that the United States had “defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.”
“We did our job perfectly!” he wrote.
Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general who led U.S. Central Command and served in the Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not seem convinced.