Department of Defense chief of staff Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney has entered that revolving door at the Trump administration and decided to resign his post. Axios reports that Sweeney plans to return to the private sector and gave no reason for his departure.
“After two years in the Pentagon, I’ve decided the time is right to return to the private sector,” he said in a statement. “It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense.”
However, Sweeney served as chief of staff to former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned last month after Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
And this isn’t the first to exit after Mattis. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White also announced her resignation at the end of December.
“I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our Service members and all the civilians who support them. It has been my honor and privilege,” White tweeted last month. “Stay safe and God bless.”
Mattis resigned after Trump made a surprise announcement saying that he will withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, where coalition forces continue to battle elements of the Islamic State on the ground. Trump has falsely claimed that ISIS has been destroyed but he’s wavered on that position multiple times. The withdrawal of troops sounds good on the surface but it will put the Kurds, allies of the U.S. in fighting ISIS, at risk of being obliterated by Turkey. What we’re saying here is that either Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing or he does, and the latter is more upsetting, to say the least.
Mattis’s former deputy, Patrick Shanahan, a former senior vice-president of Boeing, began serving as acting Defense secretary at the beginning of January.
Featured image via screen capture