Patrick Shanahan will become the Acting Secretary of Defense as of January 1, replacing James Mattis, US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday.Mattis resigned over policy differences and offered to stay in his post for two more months. Mattis resigned last Thursday to protest the pending US troop pullout from Syria.A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Trump was irked by the attention given to Mattis' resignation letter, which implicitly criticized Trump's foreign policies and his treatment of military allies after the president's decision to pull troops out of Syria.Trump announced Shanahan's appointment in a tweet, calling the former Boeing Co executive "very talented."
In a shock announcement on Wednesday, Trump said he was withdrawing US troops from Syria, a decision that upended American policy in the region. Shanahan has served as Deputy Secretary of Defense since July 19, 2017. Shanahan had been the senior vice president of Boeing and worked for the company for three decades.I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018