Trump nominates secretary of defense to Mark Esper

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US President Donald Trump nominated Defense Secretary Mark Esper this Friday, the White House announced, in a context of growing tensions with Iran. 

The appointment of Esper, who replaced Patrick Shanahan as interim defense secretary on Tuesday, will have to be validated by the US Senate. 

The US government does not have a defense minister validated by the legislative body since the resignation of Jim Mattis in December 2018, due to deep disagreements with Trump. 

This situation weakens the Pentagon at a time when the United States is waging two wars, in Syria and Afghanistan, and as tensions with Iran intensify. 

The confirmation process for senior government officials is long and complex in the United States.

The FBI conducts personality assessments of all candidates, whose findings are sent to the Senate. 

In that instance, Shanahan, elected in December to succeed Mattis as interim, faced mutual accusations of domestic violence between him and his ex-wife in the early 2010s. 

Shanahan confirmed that he had resigned from the post for which he had been nominated on May 9 in order to prevent his children from “reliving a traumatic episode”.

Trump decided to replace him on Tuesday by Mark Esper, who until now was serving as undersecretary of the Army. 

Esper, 55, is a former soldier who fought in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War before returning to the defense industry.

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