As President-elect Joe Biden announced the core of his incoming national security team on Monday, he withdrew a key word: the election of the Secretary of Defense.
While Biden plans to nominate Bich Michèle Flournoy, according to sources reporting to Fox News, his outrage at the defense industry and his relatively pale views have led to liberal outrage against the Pentagon veteran. Other sources said Politico Biden could not be sold entirely at Flournoy, who was believed to have been Secretary of Defense in 2016 when Hillary Clinton won the election.
Two Obama White House officials who continue to have close ties to Bidend told the magazine that Biden had never developed the close personal relationship with Flournoy that he sought from cabinet officials and explored other options.
Flournoy, who would be the first female defense secretary, served as secretary of defense policy under President Obama after holding several other Pentagon positions. In 2018, he joined Booz Allen Hamilton Consulting and co-founder of WestExec Advisor, a security consulting firm.
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In 2007, he co-founded the New American Security Brain Trust, which advanced advocates called for to be funded by major defense companies.
Jeh Johson, Obama’s second national security secretary, is also said to be running for the top Pentagon position, but he may also raise concerns about his position on the Lockheed Martin board.
Flournoy was key to the Obama administration’s policy in Afghanistan, calling for a “recovery” in the country in 2009 that doubled the presence of U.S. troops to 68,000. Then he broke up with Biden, who opposed the wave.
As the Trump administration plans to withdraw about 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by January, Biden has supported the continuation of the recruitment while maintaining the counter-terrorism force.
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“These eternal wars must end. I support the recruitment of troops. But here’s the problem, we still have to worry about terrorism and [the Islamic State]He told Stars & Stripes in September.
Flournoy warned of the hasty withdrawal at the Aspen National Security Forum in August. “I think it would be a mistake for the United States to pull down or retreat in a hurry, especially to leave before peace is consolidated,” he said.
“Flournoy supported the Iraq and Libyan wars, criticized Obama against Syria and helped shape the wave in Afghanistan” tweeted Representative Ro Khanna, co-chair of Bernie Sanders ’campaign for the White House. – I want to support the presidential election. But will Flournoy now undertake a full withdrawal from Afghanistan and a ban on the sale of Saudi arms in order to end the war in Yemen?
After the election, MPs Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) And Barbara Lee (California) wrote a letter to the president-elect urging him not to elect a defense secretary who has close ties to the defense industry.
But over the weekend, a group of 11 military and veteran organizations approved Flournoy, citing his “indisputable expertise”.
Rosa Brooks, a former advisor to Flournoy, certainly called all the accusations that she was a warmer strange.
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“In my experience, he was constantly the person in the room who raised all the difficult questions about the use of military force: he asked if there were non-military alternatives; forcing people to think about the risks of using force, and so on. “- he told NBC News.” He believes in the importance of strong and credible military deterrence, but the focus is on this last word: deterrence. The goal is to avoid the use of force, only as a last resort. “