New Pentagon chief Shanahan sees China as top priority

New Pentagon chief Shanahan sees China as top priority

New Pentagon chief Shanahan sees China as top priority

Shanahan, in a statement on Tuesday shortly after taking over the job, said he looked "forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision" which includes a surprise withdrawal from Syria and an expected drawdown in Afghanistan, America's longest war.

"Thanks to Mad Dog Mattis that we have great military leaders".

A Vietnam veteran, Webb briefly registered on the 2016 campaign's media radar when asked who he was most proud to have as an enemy, answering "I would have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he's not around right now to talk to".

Mattis submitted his resignation on December 20 after a series of policy disagreements with Trump, including the president's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

It said Republican senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham and former Republican Senator Jim Talent had also been mentioned as possible replacements for Mattis. However, as Mattis' brutal letter made clear he was leaving of his own accord because Trump's worldview is so discordant with his own.

In a meeting with members of his Cabinet, Trump boasted that he had "essentially" fired Mattis by moving up the four-star general's departure date by two months.

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As for Mattis, he originally offered to remain in his post through February to pave the way for a new defense secretary and prepare for an upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ministerial.

Trump similarly has criticized China on an economic and geopolitical level, but maintains he shares a warm relationship with President Xi Jinping. I hope he does well.

Among the most immediate issues on his plate will be the pace at which the United States pulls 2,200 or so troops out of Syria, following Trump's decision last month to exit the war-torn country.

Trump spoke during a Cabinet meeting in which Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan took part.

He balked in particular at Mattis' record in Afghanistan, where Trump has reportedly pushed to significantly cut the troop presence. He reiterated that position on Wednesday, saying the country was not worth spending further resources or putting US troops at risk. "And it is really important that we find ways to maintain the security architecture of the Pacific Rim", he said.

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