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Pentagon in longest-ever stretch of leadership limbo

Scorpio

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#1
Pentagon in longest-ever stretch of leadership limbo



By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer

2 hrs ago


WASHINGTON (AP) — When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Jim Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time.
© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks with reporters before welcoming Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis to the Pentagon in Washington. When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time. Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense secretary even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. It’s the longest such stretch in the history of the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense chief even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That's the longest such stretch in Pentagon history.

There is also no confirmed deputy defense secretary, and other significant senior civilian and military Pentagon positions are in limbo, more than at any recent time.
The causes are varied, but this leadership vacuum has nonetheless begun to make members of Congress and others uneasy, creating a sense that something is amiss in a critical arm of the government at a time of global uncertainty.
William Cohen, a former Republican senator who served as defense secretary during President Bill Clinton's second term, says U.S. allies — "and even our foes" — expect more stability than this within the U.S. defense establishment.
"It is needlessly disruptive to have a leadership vacuum for so long at the Department of Defense as the department prepares for its third acting secretary in less than a year," Cohen told The Associated Press. He said he worries about the cumulative effect of moving from one acting secretary to another while other key positions lack permanent officials.
"There will inevitably be increasing uncertainty regarding which officials have which authority, which undermines the very principle of civilian control of the military," Cohen said. "In addition, other countries — both allies and adversaries — will have considerable doubt about the authority granted to an acting secretary of defense both because of the uncertainty of confirmation as well as the worry that even being a confirmed official does not seem to come with the needed sense of permanence or job security in this administration."
Key members of Congress are concerned, too.
"We need Senate-confirmed leadership at the Pentagon, and quickly," Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who heads the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday. The panel's ranking Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, said the vacancy problem has created "disarray" in the government's largest bureaucracy.
It started with Mattis, who quit in December after a series of policy disputes with President Donald Trump that culminated in his protest of administration plans to pull troops out of Syria as they battled remnants of the Islamic State.
At least outwardly, the Pentagon has managed to stay on track during this churn, and senior officials caution against concluding that the military has been harmed.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, whose chosen successor as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, had his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, told reporters that military commanders understand what their civilian leaders expect of them.
"We'll look forward to a confirmed secretary of defense in the near future, for sure, but I don't think (the vacancies) had a significant impact over the last six months," Dunford said Tuesday. "I don't believe that there's been any ambiguity across the force about what they need to be doing and why they need to be doing it."
The day after Dunford spoke, trouble struck on another personnel front, potentially endangering the nomination of Air Force Gen. John Hyten to take over as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the incumbent, Gen. Paul Selva, retires July 31. The vice chairman is the nation's second-highest military officer.
A senior military officer has accused Hyten of sexual misconduct. Members of Congress this week raised questions about the allegations and about the military investigation that found insufficient evidence to charge Hyten. It's unclear when, or if, Hyten will get a confirmation hearing.
Just last Sunday, the Navy was hit with its own leadership crisis.
Adm. William Moran, who had already been confirmed by the Senate to become the top Navy officer on Aug. 1, abruptly announced he was retiring. He said he felt compelled to quit because of an investigation into his use of personal email and questions about the wisdom of his association with a retired Navy officer who had been accused of inappropriate conduct with women in 2016.
At Milley's Senate hearing Thursday, he was asked repeatedly about the problem of multiple and lengthy vacancies in the higher ranks of the Pentagon. His responses suggested he sees at least the potential for it to cause damage.
"It would be much better to have the nominees fully vetted and confirmed because that gives us much more effectiveness in terms of dealing with our adversaries," members of Congress and the American public, he said.
Mark Esper, who has been the acting secretary of defense since Mattis' first fill-in, former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, abruptly resigned in June, is scheduled to testify at his confirmation hearing next Tuesday. But even that comes with complications. He is required to step aside pending Senate confirmation, and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer will move into the role of acting defense secretary until Esper is approved. Spencer would then return to the Navy.
This tangled web is unlike anything the Pentagon has ever seen. Only twice previously has the Pentagon had an acting secretary; in the longest and most recent instance, the fill-in served for two months in 1989 during the George H.W. Bush administration. No administration has ever had two acting defense secretaries, let alone three.
John Hamre, who served as deputy defense secretary from 1997 to 2000, says much of the work in the Pentagon is based largely on a policy framework established by previous defense secretaries, and that work is not greatly affected by the absence of a confirmed secretary.
What can be hurt is coordination with the White House, "where an acting secretary is underpowered when sitting opposite a secretary of state, for example," Hamre said. He added that defense policy innovation might be the area that suffers the most.
"This is where we will see the greatest impact by having only acting secretaries," he said.


https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/poli...tch-of-leadership-limbo/ar-AAEcFkL?li=BBnb7Kz
 

the_shootist

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#2
Does it really matter who's running that place? Their main claim to fame is hemorrhaging money and killing brown people across the planet. It's doesn't take much leaderhip to accomplish those goals. Just guns and money!
 

Joseph

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#3
Does it really matter who's running that place? Their main claim to fame is hemorrhaging money and killing brown people across the planet. It's doesn't take much leaderhip to accomplish those goals. Just guns and money!
Don't forget the sacrificing of young men and women in our country who give their lives in the name of power and dominion, oil and other natural resources, Freedom and Democracy
 

Goldhedge

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#4
creating a sense that something is amiss in a critical arm of the government at a time of global uncertainty.
LOL at a time of global uncertainty... Where?

There is relative calm in the world and they see it as 'uncertainty'....
 

Buck

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#6
Maybe we really don't need that position...Eliminate It!
 

gnome

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#7
thank the house of reps for not allowing tramp to fill positions he was elected for,

many many unfilled openings being held up in the house
Cabinet level appointments are confirmed in the senate...is it different for lower positions?
 

gnome

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#9
Gee, lobbyists from the world's top weapons merchants, what could go wrong? Swamp the drain!

*************
Mark Thomas Esper (born April 26, 1964)[2][3] is a former American corporate executive and military veteran serving as Acting United States Secretary of Defense. He served as the 23rd United States Secretary of the Army from 2017 to 2019. Prior to his current position, he served as Vice President of government relations at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor.[4] During his time at Raytheon, Esper was recognized as a top corporate lobbyist by The Hill in 2015[5] and in 2016.[6]

President Donald Trump announced on June 18, 2019, that Esper would become acting Secretary of Defense, succeeding acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan.[7] Before Shanahan withdrew his name from consideration for the position, Esper had been considered a leading candidate for the nomination, had the Senate declined to confirm Shanahan.[8] Esper assumed the office on June 24, and Trump intends to nominate him to serve in a permanent capacity.[9] While Esper is serving as acting defense secretary, he will technically retain the title of secretary of the Army.[1]

***********

Patrick Michael Shanahan (born June 27, 1962) is an American government official who served as Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2019. President Donald Trump appointed Shanahan to the role after the resignation of Retired General James N. Mattis. Shanahan served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2017 to 2019.[1] He previously spent 30 years at Boeing in a variety of roles.

The White House announced on May 9, 2019, that Trump intended to nominate Shanahan as the Secretary of Defense.[2] That decision was reversed on June 18, 2019, when Shanahan said that he was withdrawing,[3] and Trump announced that he would be making Mark Esper the acting U.S. Secretary of Defense.[4] Shanahan's last day in that position was June 24, 2019.[5]
 

Buck

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#10
Are any of these guys Felons?

i've often wondered, how many of these 'experts' are really available for government employment and who have already attained the level of Top Secret?

so, are they Felons? Have any of them been a part of the Coup? Is there evidence, physical evidence to prove a positive on either choice?

No?

maybe that IS how part of being the best actually works and with honest men, it can be maintained...idk, are they honest men?

idk

but i don't automatically count them as being complicit with anything that's wrong
 

Scorpio

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#11
he served as Vice President of government relations at Raytheon
of note

wtf do you think is qualified???

comrade kotex or equiv?

where do you think the talent is going to come from?

the local strip joint?
 

Buck

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#12
of note

wtf do you think is qualified???

comrade kotex or equiv?

where do you think the talent is going to come from?

the local strip joint?
idk, the money some of these people make, it would reason they would have some spare change to make it rain at will, at least i'd suppose

so, following that most are probably men, it would reason if you'd want to hire a rocket scientist, probably find a good one in a titty-bar somewhere near Houston or somewhere in Cocoa Beach

idk bear, i'm just saying...ya go where the buffalo roam when you want a buffalo but who tha h is comrad kotex? sounds like automatic latrine duty to me

but i'm not adding anything
lol
 

Alton

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#13
Comrade Kotex = Alexandria Occasional-Kotex occasionally known as Alexandria Occasional-Cortex otherwise known as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
 

gnome

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#14
of note

wtf do you think is qualified???

comrade kotex or equiv?

where do you think the talent is going to come from?

the local strip joint?
Despite concerns about MIC, I'd say Espy was more than qualified, combat veteran from Desert Storm as well as executive experience in weapons industry.

Shanahan, no military service and resigned in the midst of a wife-beating scandal as well as allegations he improperly favored Boeing.

To me it looks like business as usual at the Pentagon, only with less congressional oversight and more concentration of power in the hands of one person.

I'll give Trump credit for one thing: he hasn't started a major war.
 

Aurumag

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#15
This is part of the Scaramucci model:

Acting executives have the same power as those confirmed, but they are easier to place and replace.

All part of the swamp draining?