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FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks with reporters before welcoming Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis to the Pentagon in Washington. When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time. Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense secretary even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. It’s the longest such stretch in the history of the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

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