Donald Trump names Patrick Shanahan Acting Secretary of Defence

The new Acting Secretary of Defence will assume charge on January 1, 2019.

Donald Trump names Patrick Shanahan Acting Secretary of Defence

Washington: United States President Donald Trump on Sunday announced Patrick Shanahan as the Acting Secretary of Defence and said that the latter would assume charge on January 1, 2019. 

Shanahan replaces outgoing Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. The announcement was made days after Mattis quit as Pentagon chief citing key policy differences with the US President.

"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," the Republican leader tweeted, accelerating Mattis's planned departure by two months.

"Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!" the US President said.

Mattis resigned shortly after President Trump announced the decision to withdraw all troops from Syria.

While not mentioning it in his resignation letter directly, he is understood to oppose the decision and has previously warned that an early withdrawal would be a "strategic blunder".