defense secretary

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Shanahan Reveals Plan for Border Security

The acting defense secretary wants to leave the Pentagon behind

(Newser) - On a trip to a border city in Texas, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday he intends to accelerate planning to secure the border and bolster the government's ability to accomplish that without the Pentagon's continuous help, the AP reports. Shanahan told reporters traveling with him to...

Trump Officially Names Defense Nominee

Says he'll nominate acting secretary Patrick Shanahan

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday said he will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, a highly unusual arrangement for arguably the most sensitive Cabinet position, the AP reports. "Acting Secretary...

Jimmy Carter's Defense Secretary Had One Big Regret

Harold Brown never forgot what happened in Iran

(Newser) - Harold Brown, who as defense secretary in the Carter administration championed cutting-edge fighting technology during a tenure that included the failed rescue of hostages in Iran, has died at age 91. Brown died Friday, said the Rand Corp., the California-based think tank which Brown served as a trustee for more...

Next Defense Secretary Could Be a Democrat

Jim Webb rumored to be front-runner

(Newser) - President Trump is rumored to be considering a surprising choice for defense secretary: Jim Webb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia who briefly ran for president in 2015 and was considered a front-runner to be Barack Obama's running mate in 2008. Sources tell the New York Times that White...

Mattis Gets Pushed Out
Mattis Not Leaving in February

Mattis Not Leaving in February

The defense secretary is leaving Jan. 1, Trump says

(Newser) - President Trump announced on Sunday that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will now leave his post on Jan. 1, tweeting that deputy Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary to cover the accelerated departure, the AP reports. The move comes just three days after Mattis resigned in protest...

Mattis' Off-the-Cuff Talk to Troops Caught on Video

He asks them to 'hold the line' until US gets back to 'respecting each other'

(Newser) - A video of defense chief James Mattis giving an off-the-cuff pep talk to US troops is gaining traction online. In the clip—see it here —Mattis asks the troops to "hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it,"...

How a High School Newspaper Scored an Interview With the Defense Secretary

Aide accidentally leaked his number, students took action

(Newser) - You wouldn't expect to see an interview with the secretary of defense published in a high school newspaper, but there it is in the Islander , the paper published by Washington state's Mercer Island High School students. An aide to President Trump accidentally released Defense Secretary James Mattis' phone...

Mattis Breaks From Trump on Key Iraq Issue

Defense secretary assures Iraq we want to help beat ISIS, not take its oil

(Newser) - President Trump has noted more than once he thinks we should've taken Iraq's oil when we had the chance (and suggests that option may still be on the table), but his secretary of defense is pushing a different message—what the New York Times characterizes as comments that...

Trump's Defense Secretary Is 'Mad Dog,' 'Warrior Monk'

Sources say Trump has named James Mattis to the position

(Newser) - Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a "Mad Dog" for secretary of defense. That's just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the "Warrior Monk." Apart from spending four decades with...

Pentagon Chief Also Used His Personal Email

Ash Carter kept it up even after Clinton controversy

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Ashton Carter used a personal email account for government business—or, as it's now known, "pulled a Hillary Clinton"—for months after taking the Pentagon's top job earlier this year, a New York Times investigation reveals. Carter, who became defense chief in February, continued...

Obama's 4th Defense Chief Is Confirmed

Senate votes yes on Ashton Carter, 93-5

(Newser) - The Senate easily confirmed Ashton Carter as defense secretary today, and while he's got plenty of international problems to wrestle with, the Wall Street Journal suggests that his biggest challenge might be overcoming White House micromanagement. Predecessors Robert Gates and Leon Panetta complained of it, and Chuck Hagel was...

Obama Nominates Ashton Carter for Defense Secretary

Pentagon vet will 'hit the ground running,' president says

(Newser) - We're one step closer to finding Chuck Hagel' s replacement: President Obama announced today he's nominating Pentagon ace Ashton Carter to take over as secretary of defense, the AP reports. Although some fear that Carter's insider status may hamper his ability to come up with creative solutions...

Obama Picks Pentagon Nominee: Report

Ashton Carter has worked quietly behind the scenes until now

(Newser) - President Obama has apparently chosen a new candidate for Pentagon chief—a relative unknown on the national stage who worked as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's "alter ego" for about two years. That candidate is Ashton Carter, whose public profile was boosted by his role in planning the...

Next Pentagon Chief Could Be a Woman

Michèle Flournoy has been the department's highest-ranking woman

(Newser) - Following Chuck Hagel's exit as defense secretary, the obvious question is who might replace him. One leading possibility: former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy—the defense department's highest-ranking woman ever, ABC News reports. She stepped down in 2012 and now heads a nonpartisan national security...

Chuck Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief

One source says Hagel, Obama mutually agreed upon the move

(Newser) - President Obama on Friday decided to ask Chuck Hagel to step down, White House officials tell the New York Times , which reports that the president will announce the defense secretary's exit in a Rose Garden appearance today. The sources say the move follows two weeks of meetings that Hagel...

US Military to Train Ebola 'Strike Team'

Chuck Hagels orders creation of team for domestic Ebola cases

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the US, the Pentagon announced today. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team drawn from...

Gates Book: Obama Lost Faith in Own Afghan Strategy

Ex-defense chief also admires Hillary but thinks Joe Biden is wrong, a lot

(Newser) - A memoir by former defense chief Robert Gates alleges that President Obama lost faith in his own Afghanistan mission, according to accounts in the New York Times and Washington Post . Gates recalls a meeting in 2011 in which Obama expresses frustration with Gen. David Petraeus and Hamid Karzai: “As...

After Hagel Slaps China, China Slaps Back

Defense chief calls out Beijing on cyber espionage

(Newser) - When defense chief Chuck Hagel blamed China yesterday for cyberattacks in the US, it didn't sit well with some Beijing officials in the audience at a Singapore summit. "The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be...

Pentagon Drops Drone-Pilot Medal

Award angered veterans, drone opponents

(Newser) - The Pentagon has nixed a new medal for drone pilots before anyone was nominated for it. The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced by Leon Panetta just before he left the Pentagon, angered veterans as well as those taking issue with drone tactics, the Washington Post reports. A veterans' petition hit the...

Blasts Rock Afghanistan as Hagel Visits

Nearly 20 people killed after defense chief arrives

(Newser) - A suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul today, one of two attacks that killed at least 18 people as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited the nation. Nine people were killed in the bombing at the ministry, a fresh reminder that insurgents continue to...

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