It was hardly a surprise that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned, since the exit door in the Trump administration has had busy traffic.

When President Donald Trump decided to withdraw American troops from Syria, that was a decision Gen. Mattis disagreed with and he felt it was time to go. There were other Trump decisions that had to do with the country’s defense that Gen. Mattis disagreed with, and influenced his decision.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Gen. Mattis said in his letter of resignation.

He also said it was a privilege to serve as Secretary of Defense.

The Marine general was an original member of the Trump cabinet. His appointment was met with general approval. He is a combat veteran and a legend in the Marine Corps.

There was some criticism that he was not tough enough on relations with Iran. One of his sayings was that those who have seen war are the first to oppose it. “Engage your brain before you engage your weapon” was something he was heard to say.

It doesn’t seem to bother the president when cabinet members and others in high positions depart. He stays the Trump course, which is a rocky path.