The Senate confirmed Mark Esper as the next defense secretary by a 90-8 vote July 23, ending months of leadership uncertainty for the top job at the Pentagon, where more than a dozen senior leadership posts remain vacant. Esper is the first confirmed defense secretary the Pentagon has had since former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned Jan. 1 after disagreeing with President Donald Trump’s position on fighting the Islamic State. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan filled in to ...

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