New acting defense chief tells Pentagon ‘to remember China, China, China’

“Though we are centered on ongoing operations performing Secretary Shanahan explained to the team to keep in mind China, China China,” the formal stated.

Shanahan created the reviews all through a exclusive meeting of all the military services assistance secretaries and the undersecretaries of defense.

His selection to urge the Pentagon’s management to focus on the risk posed by China came just hrs prior to he attended a Cabinet meeting at the White Dwelling, in which he sat upcoming to President Donald Trump as Trump slammed Shanahan’s predecessor James Mattis and the ongoing US armed forces missions in Syria and Afghanistan.

“What’s he carried out for me? How has he done in Afghanistan? Not also good. Not much too very good. I’m not satisfied with what he is performed in Afghanistan and I shouldn’t be joyful,” Trump mentioned of Mattis, including that he experienced “essentially” fired the retired normal.

Shanahan stepped into the job just after Mattis resigned next Trump’s determination to pull US troops from Syria, a transfer that went towards the information of his most senior armed forces and diplomatic advisers.

By concentrating on China as opposed to functions in Syria or Afghanistan, Shanahan is quite possibly looking for an issue where Trump’s sights more carefully replicate those espoused by the Pentagon’s National Defense Method.

The Trump administration has sought to counter China in a variety of parts as Beijing has stepped up its armed service things to do in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Trump says he 'essentially' fired Mattis (who actually resigned in protest)

Throughout the general public portion of the Cupboard conference, Shanahan touted the Defense Department’s purpose in yet another priority of Trump’s, helping to secure the southern US border.

He claimed his staff is doing the job “carefully” with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her department, noting that navy engineers ended up operating to restore fences and looking to construct extra miles of wall.

“The Army Corps of Engineers is dialed in on carrying out this charge-successfully, quickly and with the proper quantity of urgency as to exactly where we can create supplemental standup partitions swiftly and then get immediately after the menace. The threat is genuine, the threats are genuine. We want to regulate our borders,” he reported.

Trump advised Shanahan he was “this kind of a pleasure” to operate with and that he experienced “accomplished a seriously superb position” with regard to the border.

Shanahan also explained to the Pentagon leadership Wednesday that he had chosen the existing comptroller, David Norquist, to “execute the duties of deputy secretary of protection.”

“As Section of Protection Main Monetary Officer and Comptroller for the past 19 months, David Norquist has had perception into practically every single tenet of this office. I have the best confidence in his capabilities to direct a phenomenally gifted workforce although accomplishing the responsibilities as Deputy Secretary of Defense,” Shanahan explained in a assertion issued later on Wednesday.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

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