Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that “tribalism” must not be allowed to hamper American democracy and “we all know that we’re better than our current politics” on Wednesday.
Mattis’ thoughts, adapted from his upcoming book on his time in the Marine Corps and President Donald Trump’s administration, also recalled some of the messages in his resignation letter from last year, where he appeared to criticize Trump for his hatred towards traditional U.S. allies.
“Nations with allies thrive, and those without them fade,” he wrote. “Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy.
“At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must show strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed.”
He also warned of increasing tensions worldwide, and said America alone cannot deal with all of those threats.
Mattis wrote that he was taken aback by Trump’s offer to make him Defense Secretary but felt prepared and duty-bound to take on the task.