READ: Jim Mattis Writes Farewell Message to DoD Employees ‘Our Department Has Proven to Be At Its Best When the Times Are Most Difficult’

A subtle jab.

People across the United States were unsettled when President Donald Trump announced via Twitter the “retirement” of Jim Mattis, Trump’s Defense Secretary who was seen by many as a levelheaded safeguard against some of the President’s more reckless foreign policy actions. Mattis’s resignation letter indicated to many that the departure wasn’t a retirement nor did it seem amiable.

Now, another letter from Mattis to Department of Defense employees is making waves for a similar reason.

In the letter, Mattis implies that the Defense Department is facing a climate in which “times are most difficult.” He goes on to instruct them to

“keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.”

The final command echoes sentiments he expressed in his resignation letter to Donald Trump:

“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships…Similarly, I believe that we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia for example, want to…promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies.”

Mattis’s departure seemed related to Trump’s sudden decision to pull United States troops out of Syria—a decision Russia commended.

Many thought Mattis’s farewell letter to the Department of Defense was one last warning against Donald Trump.

However, a few have grown weary of subtle rebukes from departing Trump officials.

The reactions were far from over.

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