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article imageBoeing out and Raytheon in with new US acting defense secretary

By Ken Hanly     Jun 19, 2019 in Politics
Washington - In a sudden change of positions Patrick Shanahan, the acting Defense Secretary announced that he would be withdrawing from consideration as a permanent Secretary.
Shanahan withdraws after revelation of past domestic violence incidence
A 2010 domestic violence incident with his former wife which Shanahan wishes not to be revisited as would happen at this confirmation hearing.
Shanahan was an ex-Boeing official
Shanahan had a long career at Boeing. He had risen to be a vice-president of the huge US aircraft and arms maker He joined the Trump administration first as Deputy Defense Secretary and then later as Acting Defense Secretary.
New Acting Defence Secretary was official at Raytheon
The new acting minister is Mark Esper, who was a former vice-president of Raytheon another large US arms maker. Esper was previously Secretary of the Army in the Trump administration. Esper served in the military in the 1990's but he rose to prominence only after his service with Raytheon. In both 2015 and 20016 Esper was named as one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington.
While there is not likely to be any change in US policy from the transition to Espy, there could be more sales to Raytheon as a former top lobbyist is in a more powerful position.
Raytheon and Charles Faulkner
The appointment of Esper may raise questions about Raytheon's power in the Trump administration. This comes just weeks after the departure of Charles Faulkner another Raytheon lobbyist. A recent article suggests that Faulkner's departure was more or less a firing as he had been pushing arms sales to Saudi Arabia: "The resignation of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Faulkner last month appears to have been less a resignation and more of a sacking, according to officials familiar with the situation. Faulkner, a former Raytheon lobbyist turned Trump appointee, was spearheading the administration’s scheme to declare a phony “state of emergency” to avoid Congressional oversight on arms sales. In this case, the arms sales included billions from his former employer, Raytheon. Faulkner’s role in this decision cannot be overstated, and since Congress started moving to restrict sales to the Saudis he had been one of the lone voices in the State Department urging Pompeo to sign off on sales, as well as being a heavy advocate of skirting oversight."
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