Remember China, China, China: acting USA defence chief Shanahan

by Garry Watts January 4, 2019, 19:22
Remember China, China, China: acting USA defence chief Shanahan

Appearing at Mr. Trump's side during Wednesday's Cabinet meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Shanahan said the Army Corps of Engineers was "dialed in" to help construct additional parts of Mr. Trump's Mexico border wall and that the Pentagon was exploring how to strengthen its support of the Department of Homeland Security's drive to curb illegal immigration.

In his Cabinet meeting remarks with reporters present, Trump said he was in no rush to get US troops out of Syria but did not clarify a timetable.

Trump did not explain his complaint about Mattis' approach to the war. Mattis and other Trump advisers tried unsuccessfully to persuade Trump to stay in Syria long enough to ensure that the Islamic State group, which has largely been defeated on the battlefield, can not regroup.

"I think there does have to be policy alignment [with Trump, ] and I'm not sure that exists, I'm afraid", Petraeus said, according to an interview with BBC Radio Four.

The Pentagon has said he played a critical role in developing the strategy, which singled out China and Russian Federation as top threats, saying they wanted to "shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model".

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Trump suggested that Shanahan, who took over as acting defense secretary when Mattis ended his tenure Monday, agrees with him on this.

But Trump was reportedly irked by news coverage of Mattis' impending departure that focused on his resignation letter in which he cited policy differences with the president and said Trump was abandoning United States allies. "We're not talking about vast wealth", Trump said.

Mattis announced on December 20 that he was stepping down, but would stay on the job until the end of February. We have deep respect for Secretary Mattis' lifetime of service, and it has been a privilege to serve as his deputy secretary. It emphasizes the importance of great power competition with Russian Federation and China, after America's many years of fighting insurgent wars in the Middle East. Like the Obama administration, President Donald Trump's government is concerned about what it calls China's militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea and by its advances in high-tech weaponry.

Under former President Ronald Reagan, he spent three years as assistant Defense Secretary before being promoted to Navy Secretary in 1987, only to leave the following year in protest over cuts to the military.

"David Norquist has had insight into virtually every tenet of this department".

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