Biden calls for China review during first Pentagon visit
President Joe Biden speaks as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris accompany him at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced plans for a Pentagon review of national security strategy on China as part of his push to recalibrate the U.S. approach with Beijing. The president announced the review during his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief. Defense Department officials described the review as a “sprint" effort that would weigh U.S. intelligence, troops levels in the region, defense alliances with China and more. Ratner served as deputy national security adviser to Biden as vice president and also served as a China specialist during the Obama administration.
Biden hails historic Pentagon pick, but some Dems in a bind
Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the Biden administrations choice to be secretary of defense, speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. In the past, they’ve opposed naming recently retired military officers to a post typically occupied by civilians, yet they don't want to defy their party's incoming president nor be seen as blocking history. Before announcing that he'd settled on Austin, Biden was facing pressure from activists over a lack of diversity in some of the key posts of the Cabinet he was building. Now the Mattis period at the Pentagon is viewed by some as an argument against waiving the rule again. Thankfully, Biden is neither, so the circumstances don’t support a waiver.”___Weissert, Burns and Mascaro reported from Washington.
Biden makes pitch for retired general to be Pentagon chief
Biden countered the concerns by arguing that Austin knows that a Pentagon chief's duties are different from those of a military officer. But the requirement for a congressional waiver makes getting him installed as Pentagon chief more complicated than usual. Austin retired in 2016 after 41 years in the Army and has never held a political position. Some prominent Democrats opposed the Mattis waiver, and among those who voted for it, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island expressed doubts. Biden has known Austin at least since the general's years leading U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq while Biden was vice president.
Biden picks Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense, AP sources say
WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense, according to four people familiar with the decision. Biden selected Austin over the longtime front-runner candidate, Michele Flournoy, a former senior Pentagon official and Biden supporter who would have been the first woman to serve as defense secretary. Biden also had considered Jeh Johnson, a former Pentagon general counsel and former secretary of homeland defense. Like Mattis, Austin would need to obtain a congressional waiver to serve as defense secretary. When Austin retired in 2016, Obama praised his “character and competence,” as well as his judgment and leadership.
Biden likely to break barriers, pick woman to lead Pentagon
Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is regarded by U.S. officials and political insiders as a top choice for President-elect Joe Bide to choose to head the Pentagon. Michele Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is regarded by U.S. officials and political insiders as a top choice for the position. If confirmed, Flournoy would face a future that is expected to involve shrinking Pentagon budgets and potential military involvement in the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine. She has been outspoken on American foreign and defense policy, particularly over the past year. The Defense Department is one of three Cabinet agencies — the others being Treasury and Veterans Affairs — that have never been led by a woman.
Trump fires Esper as Pentagon chief after election defeat
President Donald Trump has fired Esper. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, an unprecedented move by a president struggling to accept election defeat and angry at a Pentagon leader he believes wasn't loyal enough. I would like to thank him for his service.”In a letter to Trump, Esper referred to his efforts to keep the Pentagon apolitical -- a resistance that often angered Trump. Esper didn't thank Trump, but he also did not openly criticize the president or his policies. “President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary Esper out of spite is not just childish, it’s also reckless.”Former military leaders also weighed in.
Specter of election chaos raises questions on military role
But there is an obscure law, the Insurrection Act, that theoretically could thrust the active-duty military into a police-like role. And governors have the ability to use the National Guard in state emergencies if needed. Here are some questions and answers about possible military involvement in the election:WHY WOULDN'T THE MILITARY GET INVOLVED? National Guard units are in every state and are controlled by the governor, not the federal government. During civil unrest this year, governors used Guard troops to tamp down violence and provide security.
Expect US election to have consequences for troops overseas
During his election campaign four years ago, Trump vowed to bring all troops home from endless wars." But their approaches differ, and the outcome of the Nov. 3 election will have long-term consequences not only for U.S. troops, but for the wider region. “We’re getting out of the endless wars,” Trump told White House reporters recently. With an eye toward the election, Trump has accelerated his push to bring troops home. “Everybody wants to be able to bring troops home from Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Does the U.S. have a strategy to fight extremists and their violent ideology?
Does the U.S. have a strategy to fight extremists and their violent ideology? Farah Pandith, Danielle Pletka, Hon. Michele Flournoy, and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius discuss how the U.S. plans to combat terror threatscbsnews.com
How effective has the U.S. campaign against ISIS been?
How effective has the U.S. campaign against ISIS been? Former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell, and Retired Army Gen. Carter Ham discuss U.S. involvement in the fight against extremists in Iraq and Syria.cbsnews.com
Open: This is Face the Nation, September 28
Open: This is Face the Nation, September 28 The latest on the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and politics back home, with Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, and others.cbsnews.com
September 28: Blinken, Kaine, Flournoy
September 28: Blinken, Kaine, Flournoy The latest on the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and politics back home, with Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, and others.cbsnews.com