Esper named new US acting defense secretary after Shanahan withdraws

Esper named new US acting defense secretary after Shanahan withdraws

June 18, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, June 18 his pick for defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, has withdrawn, leaving the Pentagon without a permanent boss for more than six months just as tensions soar in the Middle East.
Shanahan “has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family,” Trump tweeted after Shanahan faced questions over his past personal life and an allegation of domestic violence.
Trump said the army secretary, Mark Esper, will come in as acting secretary of defense.

Trump: Patrick Shanahan out of confirmation process to be defense secretary

U.S. Goal Is Deterrence, Not War With Iran: Shanahan

May 21, 2019

Top U.S. administration officials told Congress on May 21 that Washington’s response to alleged Iranian threats have deterred attacks on American forces.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said their objective over recent days has been to discourage Iran.
Now U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is seeking to prevent further escalation, Shanahan, flanked by Pompeo, said after a day of closed-door briefings on Capitol Hill.
“This is about deterrence, not about war. We are not about going to war,” the U.S. defense chief told reporters.
“Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate.”