The country doesn't have a Defense Secretary. He's missing.
The United States of America doesn't have a Defense Secretary right now. He's somewhere out there, but no one knows where.
It's already been several months, and still, President Donald Trump has refused to appoint somebody, which would require Senate confirmation.
Instead, we have an acting Secretary of Defense, who had to take over after General James Mattis suddenly issued his resignation (Trump claims he fired him), after he couldn't go through with the president's plans of withdrawing U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan and isolating America's allies around the world.
Speaking of which, that acting secretary has ZERO foreign policy or military experience. He was forced into the top job suddenly after Mattis left and doesn't know what he's doing.
So, the key question is, why hasn't Trump made an appointment? Defense Secretary is a top job, pretty important to the functioning of national security, right?
Trump said just a day ago in the Oval Office while sitting with Columbia President Iván Duque Márquez that he always had a "Plan B, and C, and D, and E, and F." He was referencing what he'd do on a foreign policy matter, which could at the very worst, end up in a war with Venezuala, should the current sitting president in that country refuse to resign. But, Trump doesn't have a Plan B on his own sitting Defense Secretary? What about that Plan C, Trump?
Right now, it's fair to say that Trump probably just can't get anyone to take the job. That, too, is Trump's fault.
General Mattis originally planned on leaving in February in order to allow for a successful transition, but after word of his resignation letter got leaked to the press, Trump told him to pack his bags within days. Trump couldn't stand the sight of his faithful general, no longer heaping praise on him anymore. He had to go.
So, we're left with Patrick Shanahan. His only experience is being a former Boeing executive. That's troubling, but what's worse is that the Senate doesn't know anything about him. He's only been working in the Pentagon since July 2017, after Trump brought him in.
There's a reason our nation's top officials require Senate confirmation. If Trump allows Shanahan to stay in his top spot without this critical process, it's a disservice to us all.