Pentagon is without a chief as US faces many global threats
WASHINGTON >> It’s a difficult time for the Pentagon to be without a permanent U.S. defense secretary.
President Donald Trump’s administration is grappling with an escalating crisis with Iran, an unusual and controversial deployment of troops to the U.S.-Mexican border, the nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan and stalled talks with North Korea on nuclear weapons.
Amid all that, and more, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down this week and the man tapped to replace him on an interim basis appears to face legal hurdles that initially could prevent him from serving more than about six more weeks. It’s an unusual level of uncertainty for one of the most important jobs.
“This is a very difficult time. With everything going on in Iran and all the provocations and counteractions, and to have no Secretary of Defense at this time is appalling,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.