January 19, 2021

What Should Be Addressed in Austin’s Confirmation Hearing for Defense Secretary?

Source: Just Security

Journalist: Kate Brannen

Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearing to become defense secretary. If confirmed, he would become the first Black defense secretary in American history. Before the Senate is able to confirm his nomination, Congress must pass a waiver that would exempt him from a law requiring that a military officer be retired for at least seven years before serving as defense secretary. Austin retired from the Army in 2016. Jim Mattis, a recently retired four-star Marine general, required the same waiver when Donald Trump picked him to serve as his first defense secretary. Both of these nominations raised concerns that the norm of civilian control of the military is eroding.

Read the full feature and more from Just Security.


  • Dr. Jason Dempsey

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Jason Dempsey is an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Dr. Dempsey has written on American ...