First black set to lead US Department of Defense as Biden picks Gen. Austin as Secretary

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Biden picks retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his secretary of defense, sources say

Washington (CNN)President-elect Joe Biden has selected retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the former commander of US Central Command, to be his secretary of defense, two sources familiar with the decision told CNN on Monday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black man to lead the Department of Defense.
Biden reached out to Austin over the weekend to offer the job, according to the source, and he accepted. Austin emerged as the leading candidate last week, the source said. Politico was first to report on Biden’s selection of Austin.
Biden will likely announce the retired Army general as his nominee on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. The President-elect is also expected to announce some domestic Cabinet picks on Friday, the source said.
The selection would make Austin one of the most prominent members of Biden’s Cabinet and incoming administration. The secretary of defense is in control of the nation’s largest government agency, commanding troops around the world and the complicated internal workings of the Pentagon that make it one of the world’s most formidable bureaucracies.
It also means Austin’s political chops would be put to the test, juggling calls to cut defense spending, as some in Congress want, while still funding innovative future technology and prioritizing the challenges posed by Russia and China — all while maintaining military deterrence against Iran, North Korea, and ISIS.
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