Trump Administration Considering Keeping Robert Work On During Transition

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work [DOD]

In a somewhat surprising move, The Washington Post is reporting that the transition team for the incoming administration of Donald J. Trump is considering keeping the current Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work in office for three to six months. Work would help maintain continuity for the incoming Secretary of Defense-designate James Mattis and assist in preparing the Trump administration’s first defense budget proposal. He also quietly rallied support for Mattis’s selection as Defense Secretary, vouching for bipartisan confidence in the former USCENTCOM commander.

Holding Work over could be seen as a sign that Mattis and the administration may intend to keep elements of the Third Offset Strategy, which Work developed under current Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

A few days ago, The Post reported that Mattis had clashed with senior Trump transition team officials over Defense Department appointments. Mattis allegedly first learned of the appointment of Vincent Viola as Secretary of the Army from the media, leaving him “furious.” Several senior Defense Department office remain to be staffed and Mattis has been said to have rejected several individuals proposed by Trump’s transition staff.

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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