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Biden Picks Retired General Lloyd Austin As First Black Pentagon Chief

December 08, 2020 12:40 PM

Washington, December 7
Lloyd Austin, who led US troops into Baghdad in 2003 and rose to head the US Central Command, has been chosen by President-elect Joe Biden to be the first African-American secretary of defense, US media reported Monday.

A veteran of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the retired four-star army general, 67, beat out the favorite for the job, former under-secretary of defense Michele Flournoy, amid pressure on Biden to nominate more minorities for positions in his cabinet.

CNN, Politico and the New York Times cited unnamed sources familiar with the decision, after Biden said earlier Monday that he had made his choice and would announce it on Friday. Austin would require Senate confirmation to take up the post. 

He spent four decades in the army, graduating from the West Point Military Academy and following a career with a wide range of assignments, from leading platoons to running logistics groups and overseeing recruiting, to senior Pentagon jobs.
- Agencies

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