Washington, December 8
US President-elect Joe Biden has selected retired Army General Lloyd Austin to run the Pentagon as Secretary of Defence, according to media reports. If confirmed by the Senate, the 67-year-old career military officer would be the first African-American to lead the Department of Defence.
2nd highest position
- Lloyd Austin was the Commander of the US Central Command from 2013 to 2016. He closely interacted with the Pakistani military leadership.
- He would be the second Defence Secretary after James Mattis in four years to require Congressional waiver to head the position.
The office of the President-elect did not confirm the news, but said Biden will announce additional members of his Cabinet before Christmas, including his nominee for Secretary of Defence and members of his economic and domestic cabinet before the end of this week.
“Retired Gen Lloyd Austin, once viewed as a long-shot candidate to be President-elect Joe Biden’s defence secretary, has been chosen to lead the Pentagon,” Politico reported on Monday.
Biden has selected retired Austin, the former commander of US Central Command, to be his secretary of defence, the CNN also reported, quoting a source familiar with the decision. Biden’s decision to pick Austin comes amid increasing pressure from the African Americans to name one of them to the top four positions — Secretary of State, Treasury Secretary, Defence Secretary and Attorney General, according to political observers. — PTI