Nearly two weeks after he submitted his resignation letter, former Defense Secretary James Mattis has officially left the Pentagon. The building already feels like a less lethal place.

The legendary Marine general has been replaced by former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who has a reputation for being able to solve complicated problems. (As the Pentagon's space guy, he is also the defense official whom your friendly Pentagon correspondent once asked if Space Force needed a Starfleet Academy and rifle squads to "seek out and destroy other lifeforms.")

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It was the second parking citation that did it. Your friendly Pentagon correspondent realized he wasn’t up against just anyone. Oh no. This wasn’t the work of an Officer Obie.  Al Pacino from “Heat” had clearly joined the Pentagon police with one mission: To take me down.

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The Pentagon was mostly empty on Friday as Defense Department employees took off early for their Christmas vacations.

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Your friend and humble narrator is no longer assigned to the Pentagon beat. From now on, this reporter is a “Keeping up with President Trump” correspondent because the president makes rapid-fire policy decisions every time he speaks or tweets.

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As 2018 draws to a close, there is precious little evidence that your humble Pentagon correspondent can cite as progress in the U.S. military’s efforts to annihilate ISIS and force the Taliban to negotiate peace with the Afghan government.

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It was a typical Thursday morning until your friendly Pentagon correspondent asked his boss for permission to write about the U.S. military’s obsession with penises.

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