Patrick Shanahan named acting Secretary of Defense as of January 1st

Patrick Shanahan named acting Secretary of Defense as of January 1st

Patrick Shanahan named acting Secretary of Defense as of January 1st

In the week before President Donald Trump's reported decision to abruptly withdraw 7,000 USA service members from Afghanistan, the top US commander there all but admitted that the 17-year-old war there will not end with a military victory for the Pentagon.

Irritated with the criticism and fallout from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' resignation, President Donald Trump on Sunday pushed the Pentagon chief out the door two months earlier than planned, an acrimonious end to a tense relationship that had been eroding in recent months. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will be acting defense secretary.

While the Defense Secretary is famous for his over 40 year Marine Corps career, Tom Mattis was the first to join the Marines.

The video is Mattis' final holiday message to the troops as Defense Secretary.

Tom Mattis said the language of the resignation letter does not surprise him: "Jim will always give his best advice and speak truth to power - regardless of the consequences".

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In the resignation letter, James Mattis said he planned on staying until the end of February to ensure a permeant replacement could be chosen and to attend a previously scheduled North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting.

In a video recorded December 19 - one day prior to submitting his resignation letter - Mattis told US troops, "To all you lads and lasses holding the line in 2018, on land, at sea, or in the air, thanks for keeping the faith".

"Since Washington crossed the DE at Christmas 1776, American troops have missed holidays at home to defend our experiment and democracy". "Most don't know your names but all are confident their freedoms and their families will be kept safe".

Mattis says, "you have earned the gratitude and respect of your fellow citizens and it remains my great privilege to serve along side you".

He does not elaborate on what storm clouds he may see.

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