The world’s last line of defense against Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine is gone.Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s abrupt resignation is sparking fears that there’s no one left to restrain the president’s most combative and isolationist impulses amid his rapid-fire moves to reshape the U.S. military footprint abroad.Already the floodgates are opening, Nick Wadhams writes.U.S. forces in Syria will be quickly withdrawn — the very issue that provoked Mattis’s resignation — as the president declares victory over Islamic State. Both decisions signal Trump’s willingness to abandon key allies on the battlefield.In a Washington that had grown accustomed to White House chaos, this week’s developments forced even Trump’s most robust defenders to question his thinking. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — usually loathe to criticize the president — said he was “distressed” over the departure of Mattis, who he said had a “clear-eyed understanding of our friends and foes.”McConnell’s comments underscore how perilous even Trump’s Republican brethren view the U.S. position as the president heads into 2019 increasingly left to his own devices.
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