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The Pentagon has a leadership vacuum at the top as tensions with Iran rise

CQ on Congress podcast, Episode 158

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who is stepping aside, will be replaced Monday by Mark Esper, current secretary of the Army. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who is stepping aside, will be replaced Monday by Mark Esper, current secretary of the Army. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The departure of acting Defense Department Secretary Patrick Shanahan raises questions about who is advising President Donald Trump, who pulled back a planned military strike on Iran this week, says CQ defense reporter Andrew Clevenger in this episode of the CQ on Congress podcast. And Chris Lu, who served as Barack Obama‘s liaison to his Cabinet, says Trump’s apparent preference for churn among his agency heads gives him more power to direct policy on his own.

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