In the aftermath of the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Dec. 20, attention has turned to Patrick Shanahan, who was set to become acting defense secretary on Jan. 1, as well as the search for a permanent replacement.
The 56-year-old Shanahan was elevated to the acting role by U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 23 via Twitter. Shanahan has little experience in international affairs, having worked for Boeing Co. for more than three decades, where he rose to a senior vice president position before he became Pentagon deputy in July 2017.
Whoever is chosen as Mattis’ permanent replacement will almost certainly face sharp questioning by Congress about the administration’s murky foreign policy.
Mattis’ resignation letter outlined his belief that the U.S. cannot protect its interests without “showing respect to (U.S.) allies.”
“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,” the letter read. (AP)