After Mattis, Shanahan takes Pentagon helm at critical time


Patrick Shanahan, who on Tuesday becomes the acting US secretary of defence, takes the helm of America’s massive military machine at a critical time.

Shanahan is moving up from his position as deputy defence secretary to the top spot following the resignation of Jim Mattis, who quit over long-running–and ultimately irreconcilable–disagreements with President Donald Trump.

Little known outside business and Washington circles, Shanahan will be thrust onto the world stage at a time of tumultuous changes and unpredictable foreign policy moves under Trump.

The President this month ordered the withdrawal of all US forces from Syria and, according to US officials, a 50 per cent draw down in Afghanistan–momentous decisions that have left lawmakers and international allies fearing for what comes next.

Shanahan must now oversee the US withdrawal from Syria and play a key role in helping Trump decide the pace of the pull-out. Read More

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