The incoming House Armed Services Committee Chairman on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump over his decision to remove Defense Secretary Jim Mattis from his post earlier than originally planned, saying it "unnecessarily places the United States in a riskier position."
"It is a mistake for President Trump to deny the country an opportunity to have a stable transition to a new Secretary of Defense in this fashion," Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in a statement.
"We face too many challenges and too complex a threat environment to add to our risk by leaving the country without an experienced national security leader in the seat."
Smith, the ranking member on HASC, is expected to take over as chairman from Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) in the next Congress.
Mattis is not the only person in Trump's orbit to leave in the new year. Also out on Jan. 1 is Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
You can read Smith's full statement below:
“It is a mistake for President Trump to deny the country an opportunity to have a stable transition to a new Secretary of Defense in this fashion. I believe Deputy Secretary Shanahan will be able to successfully serve as acting Secretary of Defense. His expertise in management, research and development, acquisition, and procurement are valuable and conducive to the operations of the Pentagon. However, he does not have the comprehensive understanding of global national security threats that Secretary Mattis does. Throwing him into the role of acting secretary with no notice in this way unnecessarily places the United States in a riskier position.
“And why must Secretary Mattis leave early? The President has no given no reason why Mattis can’t stay until the end of February as he planned. We face too many challenges and too complex a threat environment to add to our risk by leaving the country without an experienced national security leader in the seat.”
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.
U.S. Special Operations Command may be on the verge of making the dream of flying infantry soldiers a reality, but the French may very well beat them to it.
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron shared an unusual video showing a man on a flying platform — widely characterized as a "hoverboard" — maneuvering through the skies above the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris armed with what appears to be a dummy firearm.
The video was accompanied with a simple message of "Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante," which translates to "proud of our army, modern and innovative," suggesting that the French Armed Forces may be eyeing the unusual vehicle for potential military applications.
If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."
There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.
For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.
The Air Force has administratively separated the Nellis Air Force Base sergeant who was investigated for making racist comments about her subordinates in a video that went viral last year, Task & Purpose has learned.