February 18, 2019

Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: The Hill

Journalist Ellen Mitchell

U.S. allies were apprehensive about acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in his first meeting with NATO defense officials, with questions about the former Boeing executive’s timetable in his current role, and how much he will be able to support the alliance as President Trump continues to question its use.

Shanahan, who has largely focused on internal Pentagon issues since he was named deputy Defense secretary in July 2017, was thrust into the acting position on Jan. 1 following the resignation of former secretary James Mattis.

Shanahan visited Afghanistan and Iraq before making his NATO debut, meeting with defense chiefs in Brussels on Thursday and a group of defense ministers in Munich on Friday as part of his first major international trip with his new title, .

Experts said allies were gauging whether Shanahan will be as supportive of the 70-year-old military alliance as Mattis was.

Read the full article and more in The Hill.

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...