Pentagon chief announces resignation

Pentagon chief announces resignation

United States Defense Secretary James Mattis will retire at the end of February, U.S. President Donald Trump announced via Twitter.

"General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years," Trump wrote.

The U.S. leader promised that a new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly.

Trump added that during Mattis’s tenure, tremendous progress has been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting equipment. According to the president, the general was a great help to him in getting allies and other countries to "pay their share of military obligations."

In his resignation letter, Mattis said he was leaving his post so the president could have a Defense secretary whose views were "better aligned" with his own.

"My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues," he wrote. "We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances," NBC cited Mattis as saying.