Washington: US President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense Patrick M Shanahan, which was announced Thursday, will be succeeding James, who had emerged as this administration’s most keen supporter of ties with India.
Patrick has been acting secretary of defense since December, when Mattis quit protesting Trump’s decision to withdraw troops completely from Syria. His nomination will need to be confirmed by US senate.
As per reports by a government official, “Shanahan has not shown much interest in ties with India.” But shoes that he seeks to fill are large for Indians. Mattis has emerged as the key figure in the Trump administration for ties with India after his path-breaking pubic appeal to US congress at a hearing to exempt some countries from US sanctions for buying Russian defense equipment. He had named India and Vietnam as among them, though not specifically asking for them to be exempted.
On the other hand, Shanahan has been beneficial of the Trump administration. White house press secretary Sarah Sander Huckabee said in a statement, “Based upon his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be the Secretary of Defense.”
Shanahan is a common man with no prior military or foreign policy experience. He is a former executive of Boeing, a major aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor. But first, he has to be confirmed by the Republican-led US senate, which is likely to vote him through.