The Pentagon

Trump announces acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will step down

Patrick Shanahan
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will withdraw from the confirmation process, and that he will name Secretary of the Army Mark Esper to be his acting replacement.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who has done a wonderful job, has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family. I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!

Trump to send 1,000 troops to Middle East as Iran tensions escalate

Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. is deploying an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to "hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups" that threaten U.S. "personnel and interests," acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced Monday.

The backdrop: The U.S.-Iran standoff is reaching uncharted waters. As the Trump administration scrambles to rally an international response to Iran’s alleged covert attacks last week, Tehran is taking a long-feared step in broad daylight — announcing it will breach the 2015 nuclear deal’s limits on enriched uranium in 10 day's time.