If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first black man to head the Department of Defense.
This choice makes Austin one of the leading members of the Biden Cabinet and the Incoming Administration. The Secretary of Defense is in control of the nation’s largest government agency, turning forces around the world and the Pentagon’s complex internal operations into one of the world’s most powerful bureaucracies.
As some in Congress want, Austin’s political chops will be tested, as some in Congress want, funding innovative future technology and prioritizing the challenges facing Russia and China – while maintaining military resistance against Iran, North Korea and ISIS.
Although he was not the first choice of influential members of his own party in Capitol Hill, he chose Biden Austin.
“I’m definitely communicated to the people of Biden, and I think Michel Flornoy is the best qualified person for the job,” Smith told reporters when asked by CNN. “That doesn’t mean she’s the only one who can do that.”
“Michelle … is a special qualification,” he said, citing her experience as undersecretary for policy and the work she has done since then. “We need some understanding of the bureaucracy and the Pentagon to make the changes stick. Michelle has it. I can not say that other people (who) can fill this position. But I think we have a clear case that she is the most qualified at this point.”
Worked with Biden
Austin has a long history of working for the Pentagon and has previously worked with Biden.
During his tenure as Vice President, Biden worked with Austin in a number of positions, most notably when he was Sentcom Commander from 2013 to 2016, during which they discussed a wide range of issues, including the Middle East and Central and South Asia. Prior to that, Biden was Vice President of the Austin Army and Commander – in – Chief of U.S. forces in Iraq.
“They have known each other for a long time,” the source said. “There is a comfort level.” “We are excited about Biden’s historic nature of the pick, especially given the history of the U.S. military as a barrier breaker in many areas,” the source said.
The Biden conversion team declined to comment to CNN.
Austin needed a congressional apology to be certified civilian because he retired from active-duty service four years ago. Federal law requires a seven-year retirement from active duty before taking on the role.
Although the use of amnesty is very rare, President Donald Trump received an apology from Congress in 2017 by retired Marine General James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense. Some Democrats in Congress at the time expressed concern about putting aside the preconceived notion of continuing civilian leadership in the military, but the apology was finally approved by both chambers, allowing Matisse to serve in the post until he leaves in December 2018.
The BN-Harris transition team told CNN that “the hopeful leaders of the committees and the members responsible for bringing it forward will support it.” The nature of the nomination.
Austin ‘knows the cost of war’
Austin says the Pentagon “knows inside and out” and that “the Covid-19 vaccine is an excellent tool for implementing logistics on distribution.”
The source said he was “directly aware of the cost of the war”, “providing information to families who have lost loved ones.”
CNN reports that Austin is among the three finalists for the role. Also under consideration are Flornoy, a prominent Pentagon official who served as Secretary of Defense for Policy during the administration of President Barack Obama, and former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.
Flornoy was considered an early runner-up for the job, but her candidacy was called into question as progressive groups rallied in recent days to oppose her nomination.
Critics have expressed concern about Flornoy’s interesting controversy, questioning her support for former President Barack Obama’s surge in Afghanistan and how the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia is constantly tied to the business interests of Pentagon contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Served on the Board of Directors.
However, top Democrats in Capitol Hill have backed Florinoi, and Smith told reporters Monday that he had conveyed his views directly to Biden’s team. Senator Jack Reed, a top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also believes Flornoy is a great choice, a committee aide recently told CNN, raising questions about what kind of reception Austin will receive from the panel once his confirmation process begins.
Working on the board of a defense contractor is considered a conflict and usually requires a cooling period before anyone is nominated as Secretary of Defense, while others in this position have similar backgrounds.
Relationships with the defense contractor
Biden has been named Avril Hines, a former CIA officer and deputy national security adviser, to lead the U.S. intelligence community; Alejandro Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, as Homeland Security Secretary; His top foreign policy aide, Anthony Blinken, as secretary of state; And Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Career Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
He pressured former Obama administration official Jake Sullivan to serve as his national security adviser and former Secretary of State John Kerry to act as a climate jargon.
This article has been updated with additional reporting and background.
CNN’s Arlette Seng and Jeff Jeleni contributed to the report.
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