Join Today

Biden Calls for Swift Confirmation of Defense Secretary Pick

By Rachel S. Cohen

President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to “swiftly” confirm Lloyd J. Austin III as the next Defense Secretary, rebutting concerns that his plan to nominate the recently retired Army general chips away at civilian control of the military. Introducing Austin at a Dec. 9 event in Delaware, Biden said the civilian-military dynamic has been under great stress during the Trump administration, during which multiple former uniformed personnel have served in top posts. Austin would be only the third nominee in American history to receive a waiver to serve as Defense Secretary, and the first Black man to hold the top civilian job if confirmed.