Nearly two weeks after he submitted his resignation letter, former Defense Secretary James Mattis has officially left the Pentagon. The building already feels like a less lethal place.

The legendary Marine general has been replaced by former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who has a reputation for being able to solve complicated problems. (As the Pentagon's space guy, he is also the defense official whom your friendly Pentagon correspondent once asked if Space Force needed a Starfleet Academy and rifle squads to "seek out and destroy other lifeforms.")

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Defense Secretary Mattis Is Out

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President Donald Trump said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is retiring "with distinction" at the end of February 2019, according to a tweet on Thursday.

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Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly views himself as President Donald Trump's "babysitter," and his efforts to restrain the bombastic leader apparently created tensions with former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

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U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Randall Pike.

While on a flight to Washington last year, Defense Secretary James Mattis was pondering how to make President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy fit with the need for alliances.

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DOD photo by U.S. Air Force

With the State Department in upheaval, and the president focused on "America First" domestic concerns, what diplomacy and foreign policy the White House is successfully exercising have fallen more and more to one man, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.

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DoD photo

The Pentagon said Tuesday that the United States has detected “active handling of chemical weapons” at Syria’s Shayrat air base, which prompted the White House to warn President Bashar Assad that he would “pay a very heavy price” if those weapons are used.

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