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General Lloyd Austin – Pentagon’s First Black Chief ?

The new President elect Joe Biden has chosen Lloyd Austin to serve as the secretary of defence during his rule. If this decision comes through, Lloyd will become the first black general to lead the Pentagon as chief.

Who is Lloyd Austin?

Lloyd Austin is a four star retired army general. The veteran is known for leading the US troops into Iraq in 2003. He also commanded the U.S led operation in Afghanistan, the Joint Task Force 180, aimed at improving the security situation in Afghanistan.

Austin also served as the commanding authority of US forces in Iraq in 2010 and in 2012 became in charge of Pentagon operations in Afghanistan and Middle East.

The Hurdle

The rule is that to serve as the defence secretary, a veteran must have been out of active military duty for a period of at least seven years. However, Austin has been out of service for merely four years.

To be appointed to lead the Pentagon, he would require a special waiver from the Senate. It is something that members of the senate are not too keen on, despite the fact that they have previously given the same concession to Jim Matis, the retired marine chosen by Donald Trump to serve on the post.

Making History

If the waiver is granted and Lloyd Austin is appointed as the chief of Pentagon, he would make history as the first black general on the post.

The nomination is seen as a positive step towards inclusion of people from minority groups and their appointment on high posts. However, it has also generated a debate on military interference in civilian matters, considering that the post is supposed to be filled by a civilian.

Defending his choice, Biden claimed that appointing Lloyd Austin is the need of the hour. He further stated that the retired officer is not just a military leader but also possess the qualities of a good diplomat.


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