Trump To Nominate Patrick Shanahan For Defense Secretary

Cheryl Sanders
May 12, 2019

He took over after Jim Mattis resigned.

"Based upon his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the secretary of defense", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

"The biggest challenge is balancing it all". "She was super happy".

The result is a Pentagon leader who, if confirmed, is likely to continue focusing on restructuring the military as the new defense strategy calls for paying more attention to great-power rivalry and placing less emphasis on counterinsurgency.

The announcement comes close on the heels of an investigation by the Defense Department's inspector general over accusations that Shanahan had shown favoritism toward Boeing during his time as deputy defense secretary, while disparaging Boeing competitors. The IG on April 25 cleared Shanahan of any ethics violations.

Shanahan has been serving in an acting capacity since the start of the year, making him the longest acting defence secretary ever.

So far, Shanahan has largely kept his head down, probably foreshadowing a lower-profile role for the defense secretary in the administration.

Before joining the Pentagon in 2017, Shanahan spent his career in the private sector with little foreign policy experience and no military background. The most unconvinced of the congressional defense committees appears to be the Senate Armed Services Committee, the same committee he will have to face in his confirmation hearing.

Shanahan has been acting in the interim as the Pentagon's top official. Dick Cheney, the future vice president under President George W. Bush, then was nominated and confirmed.

The U.S. military is now planning to keep a residual contingent of troops in Syria and has not made any moves to execute a significant drawdown of forces in Afghanistan amid peace talks with the Taliban.

Shanahan, who grew up in Seattle, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also led the company's missile defense and military helicopter programs. Over the past year, Shanahan has also pressed the case for standing up a Space Force, while managing nearly 25,000 USA troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Although a few members of the Senate have rhetorically roughed up Shanahan, he has not generated broad opposition during his months of auditioning for the nomination. Sen.

During Shanahan's Senate confirmation hearing to be deputy defence secretary in 2017, the committee's then-chairman, John McCain, voiced deep concern about giving the deputy job to an executive from one of the five corporations accounting for the lion's share of US defence spending.

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