Mattis, who is a retired Marine general, resigned his post December 20 in an apparent dispute with President Trump on the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.
James Mattis, who President Donald Trump will replace on January 1 after the defense secretary said he would step down at the end of February, appeared unruffled by the decision, his younger brother, Tom, told The Seattle Times.
Instead, Shanahan will immediately take the reins and Shanahan "could be there for a long time" in the acting defense secretary position, Trump said, according to Reuters, during his surprise visit to Iraq yesterday. Mattis had planned to remain defense chief until late February, to allow for a transition.
The video is Mattis' final holiday message to the troops as Defense Secretary.
American president Donald Trump
In the days preceding his resignation, Mattis reportedly argued that the Washington's "counterterrorism mission" in Syria was not complete, and that to pull out now would leave the region in chaos, current and former U.S. officials. It notes the holiday time of year and that many military members are far from home.
According to Task & Purpose, the video was recorded on December 19 - one day before Mattis announced his resignation.
"We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the USA, and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade", Trump tweeted on Monday, one day after he announced Shanahan's appointment. "We know our freedoms are not guaranteed by themselves; they need defenders". "These are two sides that are fighting against one another, and neither of them will achieve a military victory".
"Storm clouds loom, yet because of you your fellow citizens live safe at home. Merry Christmas and may God hold you safe".More news: Trump signs ‘MAGA’ hats for USA troops during stopover in Germany