Biden has decided on a candidate for the post of Secretary of Defense

President-elect Joe Biden picks Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense

Biden has decided on a candidate for the post of Secretary of Defense

Biden has decided on a candidate for the post of Secretary of Defense

According to US media reports, the military department may be headed by retired general Lloyd Austin

President-elect Joe Biden plans to appoint retired General Lloyd Austin as U.S. Secretary of Defense. This is reported by a number of American media outlets. If approved by the Senate, Austin will become the first African American to lead the Pentagon.

Austin is also the first black general to command an army division in action and the first to command a theater of war. Austin’s nomination could be made as early as Tuesday morning, media reported.

Lloyd Austin, who led US Central Command before retiring in 2016, has become one of the top candidates for the post in recent days. Michelle Flournoy was initially viewed as a possible head of the US defense department. Her name was not mentioned by Joe Biden during the announcement of key members of the national security team two weeks ago..

“General Austin is a southerner, has an impeccable reputation given his military career, and could be an outstanding secretary of the Department of Defense,” Congressman Benny Thompson told POLITICO..

Austin himself, as well as a representative of Biden’s transition team, declined to comment..

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Biden and Austin met during the Obama administration. Austin was the last commander of US forces in Iraq. In this position, he played a key role in the force build-up that began in 2007 and was also responsible for their withdrawal in 2011..

Austin’s appointment can be problematic. According to the law, the head of the Pentagon must be in retirement seven years to qualify for this post. Otherwise, he will need special permission from Congress to become Secretary of Defense. President Trump’s first Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis received similar permission.

Austin’s candidacy has also met with criticism from some national security experts..

“From a civil-military standpoint, this seems like a terrible idea,” said Rose Brooks, a Georgetown University professor and former Pentagon official who wrote an article in The New York Times, on Twitter, calling for a woman to be appointed to the post. “Appointing a recently retired general, however excellent he may be, to the highest civilian position in the Department of Defense is the worst signal.”.

At the same time, Biden’s team considers Austin a safe choice, a former Defense Department official close to Biden’s transition team told POLITICO. He added that a retired general is considered a good soldier who will carry out the policies of the president-elect..

Lloyd Austin retired in 2016 after 41 years of service. He joined the board of directors of Raytheon Technologies, one of the Pentagon’s largest contractors. He also sits on the board of Nucor, America’s largest steel producer, and the medical company Tenet. Austin also serves on the board of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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  • Alexander Yanevsky

    Journalist. Graduated Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Worked on the channel «1 + 1» and «Channel 5». On «Voice of America» since 2014. Was one of two correspondents «Voices of America», covering the Russian presidential elections in 2018 from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.

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