The unexpected resignation of Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney, USN (Ret.), Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Defense, just days after the Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan took the reigns at the Pentagon, makes an already alarming situation that much more so.
The following highly experienced, top level decision makers have left their coveted positions at the Pentagon in quick succession:
- Secretary of Defense James Mattis | December 20, 2018
- Special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk | December 22, 2018
- Secretary of Defense Chief Of Staff Kevin Sweeney | January 5, 2019
Having an unqualified Acting Secretary of Defense is a significant liability. But in light of the reason why Mattis resigned, it makes sense that McGurk would follow suit. Bolton seems to be scrambling to fill the gaping holes by slowing down the Syrian withdrawal, but to now lose the chief of staff, who came out of retirement at Mattis’ request to be his chief of staff in January 2017, further destabilizes this seat of power.
In a statement posted on the DOD website, Sweeney stated: “After two years in the Pentagon, I’ve decided the time is right to return to the private sector. It has been an honor to serve again alongside the men and women of the Department of Defense.”
Trump has seven vital vacancies with acting secretaries currently in charge, most of whom are severely under qualified. Being the president of the United States of America is the most challenging position on earth even when all cabinet positions are filled with the most qualified candidates. When Trump had his army of a transition team, and they were busy finding candidates for each position, that was considered challenging even with all hand on deck. But now Trump has nearly as many openings as he did in January 2017, but no transition team and very few advisors. Additionally, Trump has already proven himself to be unqualified for his position as president.
How is this manageable?
Now factor in a government shutdown, an MIA Senate Majority Leader, and it should be abundantly clear that Trump is incapable of overseeing this all-consuming disaster.
There needs to be a bipartisan political SWAT Team that can step in during these types of critical emergencies and keep our ship afloat when we start taking in this much water. In a crisis, leaders just jump in and start directing. No invitation needed.
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