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Stay focussed, Mattis tells US troops as he bids farewell to Pentagon


Press Trust of India Washington
Outgoing US Defence Secretary James Mattis, who resigned due to his differences with President Donald Trump over policy issues, in a farewell message on Monday urged American troops and defence employees to stay focussed on their mission.
Quoting a telegram, which was sent by former president Abraham Lincoln to General Ulysses Grant in February 1865, near the end of the American Civil War, Mattis said, "Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or delay your military movements, or plans."

"Our Department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult. So keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes," he said.
Mattis resigned earlier this month after Trump announced to withdraw US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
"Our Department's leadership, civilian and military, remains in the best possible hands. I am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission to support and defend the Constitution while protecting our way of life," Mattis said.
In his resignation letter, Mattis had expressed his desire to stay in office till February 28 to ensure a smooth transition. However, Trump asked him to leave by December 31 and appointed his Deputy Patrick Shanahan as the Acting Defence Secretary.

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First Published: Dec 31 2018 | 10:20 PM IST

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