Shanahan: US military to focus on China

Shanahan: US military to focus on China

Shanahan: US military to focus on China

"I'm not happy with what he's done in Afghanistan and I shouldn't be happy", Trump said of Mattis, adding that he had "essentially" fired the retired general.

The remarks put Shanahan in a hard position from the start of what could be a long tenure at the Pentagon, where many staff were loyal to Mattis.

Expressing happiness over Shanahan's appointment, acting assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Charles E. Summers, Jr. tweeted, "It was a great day leading the highly talented team at the Office of Secretary of Defense-Public Affairs".

They "discussed a wide variety of topics to include Syria", the official said.

Trump also said he wasn't happy with Mattis' work in Afghanistan.

They say Shanahan also told the officials to focus on "China, China, China", even as the USA fights militants in Syria and Afghanistan.

China, along with Russian Federation, were identified as strategic competitors and a main focus for the department in the 2018 National Defense Strategy, written by Shanahan's predecessor Jim Mattis, whose last day was Monday.

Shanahan must oversee how the U.S. pulls more than 2,000 troops out of Syria.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.

"Not too good", Trump said at a Cabinet meeting.

"We're talking about sand and death".

Shanahan must oversee the pace at which the United States pulls some 2,200 troops out of Syria, following the president's decision to exit the war-torn country. He has also not commented on planning for a dramatic drawdown in Afghanistan.

As acting secretary, Shanahan, 56, has all the authority of a permanent secretary.

"Second, the president has made major decisions on a range of these [national security] issues", Jones said.

In announcing Norquist as the Pentagon's new No. 2, Shanahan said the Department of Defense "chief financial officer and comptroller for the past 19 months. has had insight into virtually every tenet of this department", according to the official.

The aides aren't authorized to publicly discuss internal defense meetings and are speaking on condition of condition of anonymity.

The national defence strategy, released by Mattis in January past year, describes China as "a strategic competitor" that "will continue to pursue a military modernisation program that seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near term and displacement of the United States to achieve global pre-eminence in the future". The two have worked closely on the fiscal 2020 budget submission, which Shanahan has repeatedly pledged will be a "masterpiece" that puts the National Defense Strategy into motion.

On his first full day on the job, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told senior leaders at the Pentagon on Wednesday to "remember China, China, China", a USA defense official told CNN.

The Trump administration has had a rocky relationship with China.

Shanahan, best known for his focus on internal Pentagon reform and his private-sector experience, had spent three decades at Boeing and was the general manager for the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet before he joined the Pentagon a year ago.

"The National Defence Strategy is [Mattis'] strategy", Shanahan said.

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