The scandalous withdrawal of VA secretary nominee Adm. Ronny Jackson on Thursday was just the latest episode in a long stretch of chaos at the Department of Veterans Affairs. If President Trump wants to end the turmoil at the VA and allow the department to confront its critical problems, he will need to make a careful choice in his next nominee. The VA deserves a competent and experienced leader, with the policy background and management ability to steer it through these troubled times.
The current upheaval at the VA began last month when the president removed Secretary David Shulkin following the revelation of his own controversies, and replaced him for the short term with the barely confirmed DoD Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness, Robert Wilkie. But the head-spinning pace of change at the VA extends back over the past four years, as five different people have held the top position at the department in either an acting or permanent capacity since President Obama’s firing of retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki in 2014. Each of these VA leaders presided over periods of intense scrutiny and infighting, and achieved varying levels of success in attempting to reform the relatively new department—which has existed as a Cabinet-level agency only since 1989.
Read the Full Article at Slate
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: Global Posture
The Department of Defense is finalizing the first global posture review of the Biden administration, an assessment of the U.S. military's global footprint. What will the admin...
By Anna Pederson
ReportsTransitioning to Tech
Military experience provides service members with a range of technical and soft skills that can prepare them for meaningful employment in the private sector....
By Dr. Jason Dempsey, Katherine L. Kuzminski, Nathalie Grogan & Cody Kennedy
VideoAir Force has range of options to respond to Covid-19 vaccine refusals
Katherine Kuzminski, senior fellow and director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, said the Air Force has a number of pun...
By Katherine L. Kuzminski
CommentaryThe U.S. Military’s HIV Ban is Unjust
If American society wants to mitigate the negative impacts of HIV, then it needs all stakeholders to participate and facilitate an open dialogue about how to address HIV — and...
By Cody Kennedy