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Biden’s Pentagon Pick Raises Questions On Military Influence

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FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2015, photo, U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin III, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense. That's according to three people familiar with the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because the selection hadn't been formally announced. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(AP) – President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to nominate a recently retired Army general to run the Pentagon is raising concerns among some in Congress. Some ask whether it could unwisely skew the balance between civilian and military influence in matters of national security.

Because Biden’s pick, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, has not been out of uniform for the minimum seven years required by law to serve as secretary of defense, his nomination would require a waiver approved by the House and Senate. Such a waiver has been granted only twice in history. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black defense secretary.

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