With so many acting roles in the Department of Defense, accomplishing the military agenda may become difficult. No permanent head introduces unknowns into foreign policy and congressional matters. Roger Zakheim, director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation & Institute, says that many issues now require an authoritative voice from the Pentagon, and the acting roles don’t have it.
“The question is, do you want to go with everything behind you from your country. The case in the acting capacity, when they don’t have confirmation from the Senate, it just weakens that person’s voice. Through no fault of the individual… the reality is that they don’t know how long that person will be there. When you are negotiating, when you are speaking on behalf and trying to make a commitment of the administration, they don’t know your word will carry the day because they’re not sure how long you will be there.”