US military officer resigns over Washington's Gaza policy

Maj Harrison Mann worked at the Defence Intelligence Agency

Maj Harrison Mann says he kept quiet for months out of fear of 'violating our professional norms' and 'disappointing officers I respect'. Reuters
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A US Army officer working with the Defence Intelligence Agency has resigned over Washington's Gaza policy.

Maj Harrison Mann, who worked in the agency's Middle East and Africa Regional Centre, posted a letter on his LinkedIn page on Monday, which he said had been circulated internally on April 16, announcing his resignation.

“This office does not only inform policy. It facilitates and, at times, directly executes policy,” the letter reads.

“And the policy that has never been far from my mind for the past six months is the nearly unqualified support for the government of Israel, which has enabled and empowered the killing of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.”

He says in the letter that he kept quiet for months out of fear of “violating our professional norms” and “disappointing officers I respect”.

Maj Mann goes on to discuss how, as a “descendant of European Jews”, he was “raised in a particularly unforgiving environment when it came to the topic of bearing responsibility for ethnic cleansing … where the paramount importance of 'never again' and the inadequacy of 'just following orders' were oft repeated”.

“I also have hope that my grandfather would afford me some grace; that he would still be proud of me for stepping away from this war, however belatedly,” he wrote.

Maj Mann says that he also waited over personal hopes that "if I held on a little longer, the war would be over" or there would be a "material shift in support for Israel".

He is the first known DIA official to resign over US support for Israel.

There appears to be growing discontent in US military circles over US policy towards the Israel-Gaza war.

Last month, an active-duty US airman staged a hunger strike outside the White House over Gaza.

And in February, US soldier Aaron Bushnell set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, saying in a previously posted video that he “no longer [wanted to] be complicit in genocide”.

His resignation comes after a number of State Department employees resigned publicly over Washington's stance on Gaza.

Updated: May 13, 2024, 9:54 PM