Biden, Facing Immense Pressure in Selecting Leaders for the Secretary of Defense

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden is facing serious pressure of competing caucus from his party as he finalized his choice for secretary of defense.

Black leaders have encouraged the President to elect an African American to diversify between all-white prospective cabinets, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to supervise the Department of Defense for the first time.

A growing collection of progressives opposes the leading female contender, Michèle Flournoy, citing apprehension about her record and private-sector associations.

A league of at least seven progressive groups warned Biden to avoid Flournoy in an open letter to Biden obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press that referenced her record of “ill-advised policy decisions” — particularly with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan — and an “opaque history of private-sector activity.”

“Ms. Flournoy’s consistent support for military interventions has contributed to devastating crises around the world, including in Yemen,” said Jehan Hakim, chairperson of the Yemeni Alliance Committee, which helped organize the letter.

Other contenders are emerging, including retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin and Jeh Johnson(Both Austin and Johnson are Black), who served as the Pentagon’s top lawyer and then as head of the Department of Homeland Security during President Barack Obama’s second term.

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