Joe Biden’s nominee for defense secretary, retired four-star Army General Lloyd Austin, would make history as the first African American to lead the Pentagon if confirmed by the Senate.
But Austin can only be confirmed if he secures a waiver from Congress due to laws designed to preserve the civilian control of the military, and several leading Democratic senators have indicated they would oppose granting a waiver.
Andrew Bacevich, president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, says he shares those concerns.
“The general is not a civilian, and it seems to me if we’re serious about civilian control of the military — and we should be as citizens — that we ought to have a bona fide civilian in charge of the Pentagon,” he says.
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