(Washington) The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it was suspending the work of 42 advisory commissions, to which former President Donald Trump appointed dozens of loyalists in the final days of his mandate.
In a note to the heads of services and directives, the new defense minister Lloyd Austin announced that the 42 advisory commissions accused of providing external advice to the Pentagon in various areas would look into whether they would bring “obvious benefits” to the ministry.
He therefore said that hundreds of experts would be laid off and the activities of the commissions would be suspended till June. Most of the experts were fired by February 16th.
Following the November election, the Trump administration removed former defense diplomats Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright from the Defense Policy Board, helping to shape the U.S. defense strategy.
In their place was former Republican-elect Newt Zinrich, considered Hawk, and former General Anthony Tata, who became a commentator on the Fox News Channel and became known for his Islamophobic tweets.
Donald Trump has appointed election campaigners Corey Lewandowski and David Bassi to the Defense Business Board to give independent feedback on major deals the Pentagon is offering.
The professionals who sit on these committees are not paid, but the function is ambitious and it provides access to important information.
Although the Austin said it would like to study the use of these commissions, the Pentagon said it was a response to dozens of last-minute appointments from the Trump administration.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said: “The maniacal activities in the composition of these commissions between November and January have caused great concern to the Minister and have certainly helped him to make this decision.”
After evaluating these committees, Mr. Austin decides how many committees he wants to keep and appoints new experts.