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Acting SECDEF Shanahan’s First Message to the Pentagon

The following is a Jan. 1 message from acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to the Department of Defense.

Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan:

Under the direction of President Trump, the Department of Defense remains focused on safeguarding our nation. We have deep respect for Secretary Mattis’ lifetime of service, and it has been a privilege to serve as his deputy secretary.

As acting secretary of defense, I now look forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision alongside strong leaders including the service secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and senior personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The Department of Defense continues to be one of our nation’s bedrock institutions. Our foundational strength lies in the remarkable men and women who volunteer to serve our country and protect our freedoms, while making immense personal sacrifice. It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team committed to the greatness of our nation.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Good luck Mr. Secretary. I hope you continue our President’s efforts to force those so-called ‘allies’ of ours who play this country’s taxpayers for chumps to honor the commitments and obligations they agreed to.

    • Secundius

      As I recall, the so call “Obligation” of 2% DOESN’T go into effect until 2023…

      • Chesapeakeguy

        And if you research what those countries own budget projections are for those years you will see that 2% is NOT what they will be spending on their OWN defense. Germany. for instance, while agreeing to the 2% threshold as did all NATO members in 2014, will supposedly ‘increase’ their defense budget to 1.5% by 2025. Only 7 members or so are on track to actually meet their obligations.

        • Secundius

          Lucky for the United States, that Donald Trump ISN’T the “Exchequer of the Purse”! The US House of Representatives IS (i.e. Nancy Pelosi)…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the current discussion.

          • Secundius

            And Donald Trump is no General Dwight D. Eisenhower either…

            https : // www . chicagotribune . com / news/ct-xpm-1994-09-02-9409020263-story.html

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And yet here you offer proof that he and Ike and some significant others (like the authors of that piece) have some things right about NATO and the drain it is for us. Thanks for that.

          • Secundius

            One problem, even the US Senate ISN’T going to Dissolve current or future participation’s or even funding with NATO regardless of Donald Trump’s wishes…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Perhaps, but Trump still has the podium to try to shame those so-called allies who so far have shown themselves to be both dishonest and unreliable when it comes to their own defense, not to mention the ‘collective defense’ NATO is supposed to be all about. Also, as YOUR own article points out, others have pointed out that the original basis for NATO had disappeared. That article points out that NATO, as of 1994 at that, had become ‘too big to fold’. What else would all those bureaucrats in Brussels do? We continue to be played fr fools. I am glad and proud that we FINALLY have a President who realizes that, and is addressing it. It might not succeed, but it is being addressed. That circumstances have reached this point show what a bi-partisan failure NATO has been as far as basic fairness for this country.

          • Secundius

            Unfortunately the 2% Mandatory Obligation clause in the NATO Charter doesn’t go into effect before 2023. And Donald Trump’s “Pushing the Clause” isn’t going to make 2023 come any faster than 2020…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            What is ‘unfortunate’ is that none of those supposed ‘allies’ who AGREED to commit to that 2% threshold have no intentions of EVER honoring their own obligations, regardless of when it is supposed to start. And that 2% can start whenever they desire too, there is nothing preventing them from doing so BEFORE 2023. As has been proven, they have no desire or intention of EVER doing so, because we are indeed chumps here in the USA! You and others on here can hate Trump for trying to look out for the interests of this country’s citizens. I continue to be glad that he is calling out the leeches and sponges for what they are!

          • Secundius

            As with “Leeches and Sponges” Donald Trump and Family is too. “What goes around, comes around”, ehhh…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yawn. Keep your fingers crossed. There is no doubt that yet more who will sell America down the river will hold the office, and you can be happy again. As you say, “what goes around comes around!”

        • Duane

          The majority of NATO members are on track to meet the 2% GDP spending objective by 2024.. which btw is just an objective, not an enforceable minimum, one objective among many that the NATO members are striving to meet.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yeah Duane, I realize that your beloved NATO members not meeting their OWN PROMISES is not an ‘enforceable’ initiative. What’s gonna happen, war with them?

            SOME NATO countries are on track for that. A FEW of them might even meet that this year. It will remain to be seen if any of them sustain that, IF they indeed meet it to begin with. And of the countries that do actually pay 2% or more of GDP towards defense, the USA is one of them!

            https :// www . wsj. com / articles / despite – u-s -push -most -nato -allies -fail -to -fulfill -military -spending -goals – 1518200382

    • Duane

      There is no playing of the US as “chumps” but in your fevered dreams of America First MAGA silliness.

      Our allies pay for their own defense, just as we pay for our defense.

      You do realize, don’t you, that the only time in history that NATO’s Article Five Mutual Defense was triggered was when the US was attacked on 9.11.01, and our NATO allies rushed to our aid in both Afghanistan, and later in Iraq. Non-US NATO troops in Afghanistan now, and always have, made up at least 40+% of the total allied forces on the ground there. Our NATO allies suffered proportionally just as many, and in several nations’ cases, more than, the US military suffered in the war.

      So that is what you call “treating us like chumps”?

      SMH

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Treating this country’s tax payers for chumps is accurate. SOME of those ‘allies’ contributed to the post 9/11 military ops that took place. ALL but a handful are NOT endeavoring to fulfill the promises they themselves made concerning their OWN defense spending. As was so accurately conveyed, “you go to war with the army you have”. If a war ever does occur involving Europe we will, as always, be stuck with the bulk of the expenses in both blood and treasure, because those leeches are allowed to continue being just that, leeches. Thank God we FINALLY have a POTUS who will not tolerate that. Doing the right thing by THIS country always gives you Democrats heartburn, but oh well.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Top o’ the Morning to you, SECDEF.

  • Marc Apter

    Just what we need, a great manager, but then like Trump, has no idea of Post WWII history, and thinks we don’t need allies, unless they pay us first.

  • Duane

    Shanahan is obviously unqualified to serve as SecDef … so Trump needs to get busy and nominate a replacement for Mattis. Somebody decent, if not as well qualified or capable as Mattis was.

    • Ctrot

      In what way is it “obvious” that Shanahan is unqualified? Details please.

      • Duane

        No military experience whatsoever, and no government staff experience in national defense or security, prior to his hiring as Mattis’s deputy a year and a half ago. His sole experience was to be a salesman for Boeing, and he was hired specifically to focus on improvements in military procurement.

        By any rational measure, that is unqualified to be Secretary of Defense, which is not a job you start on a learner’s permit.