Mattis’ truth-telling resignation

By

Opinion

December 27, 2018 - 9:45 AM

Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va.

Resignation letters can be rants. Meltdowns. But mostly they’re boilerplate. One job site advises quitters to be brief, not to burn bridges, and — this above all — “Don’t tell the whole truth in your exit interview.”

For once, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis broke a rule. When the former Marine Corps four-star general and head of Central Command tendered his resignation to President Donald Trump last week, he told the whole truth.

In his elegant, elegiac and deceptively simple letter, Mattis outlined his core beliefs about global security.

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