Robert Work will be nominated to serve in the Pentagon’s No. 2 spot, the White House announced Friday.
The decision is by no means a surprise. News of the pending nomination broke a few days ago, and the Senate Armed Service Committee jumped the gun this morning, announcing it would hold his confirmation hearing next week.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel thanked the committee for its “prompt action.”
Work, who is currently the CEO at the Center for a New American Security, previously served as the under secretary for the Navy, with Hagel calling him an “admired and tested leader” and a “nationally recognized strategic thinker.”
Work, if confirmed, will replace Acting Deputy Secretary Christine Fox, who stepped into the role in December, becoming the Pentagon’s highest-ranking woman.
The former Navy official returns to the Pentagon as it faces a challenging fiscal environment, and draws down its presence in Afghanistan.
Hagel sidestepped questions about a drawdown timeline, specific U.S. troop levels, or when he believes a bilateral security agreement would be signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but he did say that Pentagon leaders continue to work with allies to plan for a “post-2014 mission.”
Hagel also addressed the department’s ongoing ethics scandals, noting that he plans to appoint a senior-level ethics officer.
“I don’t think there is one simple answer to the issue of ethics, values, a lapse in some of those areas that we do know about,” Hagel said. “That’s why we’re taking a hard look at this. I think we need to find out: Is there a deep, wide problem? If there is, then what’s the scope of that problem. How did this occur.”
What We're Following See More »
"Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of a federal investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, three sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News. The probe of Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm grew out of Mueller's inquiry into the finances of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
"First lady Melania Trump is making good on a promise she made earlier this year to combat childhood bullying, taking a surprise trip Monday to a middle school in a Detroit suburb." She is bringing awareness to the problem with a campaign she found called #NoOneEatsAlone, which encourages kids to be inclusive.
"President Donald Trump’s campaign digital director, Brad Parscale, will be interviewed Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee, his first appearance before any of the panels examining the issue of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Parscale confirmed his scheduled appearance. The Senate committees also probing interference haven’t scheduled time with Mr. Parscale, he said, declining to comment further."