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President Trump announced today six key additions to the Department of Defense.

Why this matters: Today's announcements are welcome signs of progress for Trump. Multiple well-placed sources have told us that the Defense Department, now led by General James Mattis, has had worse staffing problems than any other agency. The White House's office of personnel has struggled to deal with Mattis, who has Trump's ear, suggesting people considered too left-wing to serve in a Republican administration.

Who's in:

  1. Patrick Shanahan, Deputy Secretary of Defense, is a senior VP at Boeing, in charge of the company's manufacturing operations and supplier management.
  2. David Joel Trachtenberg will serve as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Policy. He's a Defense Department veteran currently CEO of the national security consultancy, Shortwaver Consulting.
  3. Kenneth Rapuano will serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and Global Security. Rapuano is a senior VP at the ANSER Corporation, and previously served as White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor from 2004-2006.
  4. David Norquist, Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller, is a partner with the accounting firm Kearney and Company. He's also got nearly 30 years government experience dealing with defense finances.
  5. Elaine McCusker, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller. She's currently the director of resources and analysis at U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base.
  6. Robert Daigle, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). He served in CAPE under the Bush Administration.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 9 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.