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National security leaders fear that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on his way out — and that Donald Trump’s next Pentagon chief will be far more subservient to the president’s unilateral and bombastic whims.

Mattis was instrumental in pulling back on Trump’s vow to “carpet bomb” ISIS or pull troops from Afghanistan. He moderated the U.S. military response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and openly opposed Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Newest security worry: Trump without Mattis

The Pentagon chief’s widely expected departure is fueling anxiety among officials of both parties who have viewed him as a force for stability.


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