President Trump will nominate retired Army brigadier general and Fox News commentator Anthony Tata to be the Pentagon’s undersecretary for policy, the White House announced.
Citing his “extensive uniformed service with the United States Army,” the White House announced Wednesday that Tata would succeed John Rood, who was ousted from the post in February.
The position had been filled on an interim basis by James Anderson.
Trump had tapped Tata for the job back in April, according to Politico, though it is unclear what led to the delay in the announcement.
The outlet reports that Tata beat out another retired Army officer, Douglas Macgregor, who was also under serious consideration for the job.
Tata will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Tata is a West Point graduate who retired from the Army in 2009 following 28 years of active duty.
In his capacity as a Fox News contributor, Tata has fervently advocated for pulling US troops from Afghanistan and Syria, making him an understandable choice as President Trump continues his push to withdraw from the region.
In May, Trump began publicly reiterating his desire to bring back troops stationed in the Middle Eastern countries, repeatedly making statements both to the media and on Twitter on the matter.
Around that time, multiple reports emerged claiming the Pentagon had begun prepping multiple withdrawal options for the commander-in-chief to consider.
Senior Pentagon officials reportedly planned to push for a partial withdrawal plan in their meetings with the president.
The current US military strategy in Afghanistan includes training and advising Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism missions against terror groups like ISIS.
According to the New York Times, the presentation of these military options was part of a larger effort by the Pentagon to avoid a repeat of how the president opted to announce his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
Military officials were left surprised when Trump made the October 2019 announcement, the paper reports. In the aftermath of the news, diplomatic chaos and some violence ensued, and the president altered his decision slightly.
Some US troops are still in Syria today, though in much smaller numbers.
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