Where Are All the GOP Defense Hawks?

DoD/ZUMA

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I guess we now have an acting-acting defense secretary:

President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan to be the permanent defense secretary, leaving the Pentagon in transition at a time of escalating tensions with Iran and questions about the role of the military at the border with Mexico….The move leaves the Pentagon leader at a time of escalating tensions with Iran after attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the explosions that damaged the two tankers.

In a Twitter post, the president said the withdrawal was the decision of Mr. Shanahan, who has served for six months as acting defense secretary. But it is the president’s prerogative to withdraw the nomination.

This is nuts. Jim Mattis left at the end of 2018. It’s now been 180 days since he announced his resignation and Trump still has no idea who he wants as his Secretary of Defense. Shanahan was just a convenient stand-in, and his replacement is another convenient stand-in. Are the Republican ranks of defense hawks really so depleted that there’s not a single conservative left who’s suitable to run the Pentagon?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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