Trump taps Shanahan as USA defense chief

Trump will nominate Patrick Shanahan for secretary of Defense White House says

Trump taps Shanahan as USA defense chief

President Donald Trump intends to nominate acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan to remain in the top Pentagon job, the White House said Thursday, placing a relatively low-profile and soft-spoken former Boeing executive atop the military at a time of mounting tension overseas.

The White House says President Donald Trump will nominate Pat Shanahan as the next secretary of defense.

Earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the decision, that Donald Trump plans to nominate Patrick Shanahan, his Acting Pentagon chief and a former Boeing Co. executive, as Defence Secretary to succeed Jim Mattis.

Since taking over from Jim Mattis on January 1, after the former Marine general resigned due to differences with President Trump over Syria policy, Shanahan has mostly held the line on policies already in place, keeping an emphasis on modernization and the National Defense Strategy released a year ago. In mid-2017, the nomination of the man who had spent three decades with Boeing - one of the five corporations who dominate the U.S. defense sector - raised a few eyebrows. Shanahan has been the longest serving acting Secretary in Defense Department history.

Shanahan said he was honored by Trump's plans and vowed to "continue the aggressive implementation" of the National Defense Strategy, as well as to keep modernizing the United States military to keep it "lethal".

His nomination seemed in doubt after the Pentagon Inspector General in March launched an investigation into allegations that Shanahan took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors.

The result is a Pentagon leader who, if confirmed, is likely to continue focusing on restructuring the military as the new defense strategy calls for paying more attention to great-power rivalry and placing less emphasis on counterinsurgency.

Now, as always, his nomination will head to the senate for confirmation.

Trump himself has been a strong proponent of military products made by USA defence companies. Among them were the 787 Dreamliner, the company's missile defense systems and rotorcraft including the vertical-takeoff-and-landing Osprey, and the Apache and Chinook helicopters. "We need a confirmed leader at the Department and, after working with him closely over the last few months, I welcome his selection".

Following a Bloomberg report, White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a Twitter post that Trump does intend to nominate Shanahan.

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