The Corner

Lloyd Austin: a Respected General and Awkward Nominee for Democrats

Gen. Lloyd Austin III at U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, September 17, 2014. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

President-elect Joe Biden has selected retired four-star Army general Lloyd Austin as his nominee for secretary of defense. Despite Austin’s sterling resume, he’s likely to face considerable opposition in the Senate. The issue isn’t with Austin himself, but with the fact that he retired in 2016 and the National Security Act of 1947 requires a prospective secretary to wait seven years after ending active duty as a commissioned officer.

Congress could grant Austin a waiver, but it would be only the third time a president has requested a waiver — President Harry Truman for George Marshall in 1950, and President Trump


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