COMMENTARY: The Senate Should Confirm Gen. Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense

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Official Army photograph of Lt. Gen. Austin (Public Domain Photo | U.S. Army Image)
Official Army photograph of Lt. Gen. Austin (Public Domain Photo | U.S. Army Image)

It is of our opinion that The United States Senate swiftly confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as the next Secretary of Defense. The Senate Armed Services Committee has set a confirmation hearing for The Senate Armed Services Committee has set a confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Jan. 19 at 3 p.m.

This hearing will be the first in a long line of confirmations that will help shape Biden’s administration as he becomes inaugurated as the next President this week.

We believe that Biden has made a wise choice in nominating Austin to head the Defense Department. Austins military background has the experience that will make him one of the best people to take on the challenges facing the national security landscape. He will has to use his knowledge to tackle issues with Russia, China, North Korea, and the Middle East.

Austin who actually led American troops in combat will have the temperament to commit U.S. troops when it is most necessary and the mission has been clearly defined. This defining characteristic is of the upmost importance.

It almost does not go unnoticed that Austin will be the first African American to uphold this role. Biden has continued to promise diversity in his leadership, which should be considered with this historic nomination.

The Nashville Voice had the chance to speak to Retired Lieutenant General Jeff Buchanan who served under Austin during his time in the United States Army

“I worked indirectly for GEN Austin when he was the XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General in 2008-2009 in Iraq. At that time, I was the Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division. I worked directly for him in 2010-2011 when he commanded United States Forces-Iraq. At that time, I was his Director of Strategic Effects, which included duties as the USFI Spokesman.”

“General Austin is an experienced strategic leader who cares deeply about our men and women in uniform. He successfully led troops in combat in both Iraq (three tours) and Afghanistan. As a former Combatant Commander, GEN Austin has tremendous experience working in concert with all parts of our government and is very comfortable with Allies. Given his tours on both the Army and Joint staffs, he understands the Department of Defense, the role of Congress, and our National Security system. I believe that he will be a great addition to President-Elect Biden’s cabinet. In short, we’re in good hands and I feel great about our future.”

Normally the Senate confirms a new president’s defense secretary right away for the sake of national security. It is important that this confirmation does not get caught up in days of debate. It is a clear choice that all Senators should vote for Austin to take on this position and allow him to get to the job of protecting the United States of America.

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