Thanks to Trump, 2.1 million troops don't have a permanent leader.
The United States has just entered its fifth month without a permanent secretary of defense, even as the military faces multiple dangerous challenges across the world.
Patrick Shanahan has been acting secretary of defense since January 1, and Trump has not nominated anyone to take over the position.
This is the longest America has gone without a permanent defense secretary in the 72 years that the position has existed. Trump's vacancy has lasted 115 days, while the previous vacancy was 60 days. That occurred 30 years ago, under President George H.W. Bush.
The 1.3 million active duty and 865,000 reserve troops in the military are fighting a war in Afghanistan and fighting terrorism across the world — including ISIS, who Trump falsely declared "100%" defeated — while the United States deals with international flashpoints like Venezuela and North Korea.
America is currently without a secretary of defense because James Mattis got fed up with Trump.
Mattis slammed Trump after he ignored his advice on removing troops from Syria.
In his resignation letter, Mattis said, "While the U.S. remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies."
Trump has spent the entirety of his presidency attacking and fighting with key American allies like England, Germany, and France, despite longstanding military alliances with those nations.
It has now been over five months since America had a permanent secretary of defense. The military lacks the experienced, permanent leadership it deserves, and the current commander-in-chief of the military is responsible.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.