DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY “B”
Trump just fired his acting Secretary of Defense.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump –16:59 UTC· 18 Jun 2019Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family….
….I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job
On May 9 the White House announced that it would nominate Shanahan for the Secretary of Defense position. But it never sent the nomination request to Congress to have Shanahan confirmed. During the usual FBI background check before a confirmation, a 2010 domestic violence incident Shanahan was involved in came up. It seems that it now ended his short career at the Pentagon.
Shanahan had zero experience in the military. He is a former Boeing manager. A recent Politico portrait of Shanahan described him as weak leader who allowed the war hawks in National Security Council to directly talk with regional commanders without even informing him. He was no counterweight for Bolton and Pompeo who are eager to wage war on Iran.
Yesterday ABC News reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would meet with the Central Command and Special Operations Command leaders without Shanahan being there. It was extremely unusual:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Florida on Monday to meet with leaders from U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command on Tuesday. The U.S. is considering “all options,” including military force, to respond to Iran’s reported attack on two oil vessels, Pompeo said on Sunday, raising concerns of a U.S. strike.
Pompeo will meet with CENTCOM and Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida on Tuesday to “discuss regional security concerns and ongoing operations,” according to Ortagus, after calling several world leaders over the weekend to discuss America’s evidence that Iran was behind last week’s attacks.
There is no information what plans those talks were about.
[Another very unusual sign is that the old war criminal Henry Kissinger visited the Pentagon yesterday and today.]
Mark Knoller @markknoller – 16:45 utc – 18 Jun 2019At @CENTCOM at @MacDill_AFB, @SecPompeo says he conferred with military commanders to coordinate State and Defense Dept policy on Iran.
Says US is serious about deterring Iran regime from further aggression in the region.
Says Pres Trump does not want war against Iran.
Trump already had difficulties to find a new Secretary of Defense. Shanahan was not his first choice. To now find a new candidate will be difficult.
It is unlikely that the U.S. would launch a war without a Secretary of Defense in place.
Bolton and Pompeo obviously want a war on Iran and they try their best to instigate it. They need a new SecDef in place as soon as possible.
Pompeo served five years as an officer in the U.S. army. He has extensive political experience. Would he want to become Secretary of Defense?
That would leave the Secretary of State position open for John Bolton to move in. The confirmation would be a bit difficult but the Senate is in Republican hands and might go with it.
One of Bolton’s cronies could then take over the National Security Advisor position.
From the war-hawks’ point of view it would be the ideal configuration to launch a big one.
This post written, as usual, by “b”, editor in chief of Moon of Alabama.
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