16 Sep '18, 4am

Never a Seamless Fit, Mattis and Trump Show Growing Signs of Discord

When Defense Secretary James N. Mattis declared last month that he had “no plans” to cancel future joint military exercises with South Korean forces, it brought him a very public rebuke from President Trump. “There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games,” Trump fired back the next day in a tweet he labeled “Statement from the White House.” He underscored only “the President” could restart exercises he had abruptly suspended after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The unusual spat highlighted Mattis’ precarious standing with Trump. The president once reveled in the 68-year-old retired Marine general’s reputation as a battle-hardened warrior — calling him “Mad Dog” to Mattis’ distress — but recently appears to have wearied of him, reportedly mocking him as “Moderate Dog.” Current and former Pent...

Full article: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/never-seamless-fit-matti...

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