Biden’s national security team still has significant shortcomings

At both agencies, Biden is considering contestants with deep experience in his field and achieved in Washington – but some of his candidates from the Democratic Party are also encouraging disagreements that could complicate the election of the president-elect.

Observers have been speculating for weeks that Biden is entrusting the Department of Defense with a Pentagon veteran official, Michèle Flournoy, who is the most experienced defense expert among the floating names, though advanced has opposed it.

After Biden appointed another woman, Avril Hains, director of national intelligence on Tuesday, the focus was on who headed the Central Intelligence Agency. There is no debate about the retention of the current director, Gina Haspel, who was in full contact with President Donald Trump and is expected to resign on the inauguration day if he is not fired by then. But one of Biden’s candidate candidates to replace him has already been convicted as a “torturous apologist.”

The defense minister candidate is expected to compete in early December, and as soon as a decision is made early next week, according to interim advisers, in addition to Flournoy.

Interim advisers said opportunities for Biden include Jeh Johnson, the former Obama administration’s secretary of the state. Some former officials, who are close to the selection process, believe Johnson is also quarreling over the post of chief prosecutor, stressing the idea that Biden’s team is still trying to include various contestants in the cabinet puzzle.

Another name swam to lead the defense department: Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and ornate veteran who was wounded in battle.

Two interim advisers warned against reading anything about the fact that Flournoy was not on the national security team announced this week in Wilmington.

But it was also not immediately clear why he was not on stage with the Secretaries of State, the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Homeland Security, given the number of years he has been a leader in defense and widely regarded as leading candidate for Biden’s Pentagon .

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One interim consultant told CNN that cabinet members should be seen as pieces of a larger puzzle, not simply a series of individual decisions. And Biden and his team took more time to put together other pickers before announcing the election of his defense minister.

According to interim adviser, Flournoy’s well-known differences in Iraq and Afghanistan policy over the years over Biden were not decision-making factors, pointing to the president-elect’s Tuesday remark.

“They’re going to say what I need to know, not what I want to know – what I need to know,” Biden said, next to the first wave of cabinet candidates.

If Flournoy is the candidate, he is expected to prioritize spending on future technologies and restoring civil-military balance in the Pentagon so that the most critical decisions and policy discussions are scrutinized by civilian officials.

To fill the shoes of Haspel’s two leading contestants, according to people familiar with the names spoken by the transitional team, former CIA executive director Michael Morell and Tom Donilon were national security advisers.

“Apology for torture”

Morell is not known to have a close relationship with Biden, but he is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and is respected by the agency’s ranks. Donilon, led by the White House National Security Council, worked more closely with Bidend and his team under the Obama administration.

The ad hoc group official refused to comment on the candidates and the procedure.

The connection between Biden’s transition team and potential candidates was minimal, leaving them in the dark with where they stand, the outreach people claim. Both the candidates and their records are well known to the President-elect and those who help him decide.

A possible election must first be voted on by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Biden’s team consulted with some of the key Democrats on Capitol Hill about the work of the CIA director, according to a source familiar with the discussions, who told CNN that several names were involved, including Morell.

On Wednesday, Commission Democrat Ron Wyden stepped up his criticism of Morell, whom he called a “torture apologist” and “non-starter” for the CIA director. “Mike Morell wrote that the torture was effective and moral,” Wyden tweeted. – You’re wrong in both ways.
The White House has signed that Joe Biden will receive the president’s daily report

Wyden referred to the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, or EIT, used at Morell’s agency. In an interview with CBS in 60 minutes in 2013, Morell called them “incorrect” and “contrary to American values.”

But in 2015, in his book, The Great War of Our Time, he also wrote that while water polo in al-Qaeda was “disturbing,” “I believe water gliding was one of the two most effective techniques among the tough techniques.

“Morell was in no way involved in setting up the EIT program and only found out about it in 2006, four years after its inception,” said Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Morell. “He publicly stated in a 2013 60 (transcript) interview and wrote in his 2015 book that he thought water sports were indeed torture.”

Donilon would not come without his own complications.

As a leader, he was known for creating an intense and tough work environment. Before joining the Obama administration, Donilon was Fannie Mae’s top executive at the time of the housing boom for six years, leaving before the company took off and being forced to pay the $ 400 million to the federal government for misreporting during his time there.

Since his time in the Obama administration, Donilon has worked for the financial firm BlackRock.