Stars and Stripes stripes.com 30 Dec, 2020 19:00 am

Biden plans to nominate Hicks, Kahl for top Pentagon roles

Biden plans to nominate Hicks, Kahl for top Pentagon roles
President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate two former senior officials to fill the Pentagon's No. 2 and No. 3 jobs, transition officials said.

10, 2017 photo, Kathleen Hicks, then director of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, testifies as an expert witness during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on a possible waiver for Jim Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense.The officials said Biden has selected Kathleen Hicks, a think tank strategist and former senior Pentagon official who is heading Biden's Defense Department transition team, as his nominee to be deputy defense secretary.Lloyd Austin, whom Biden got to know during dealings with Iraq, as his choice for defense secretary." Acting defense secretary Chris Miller, who was appointed last month after Trump fired his predecessor, has defended the Pentagon's handling of the transition and described the information provided to the transition team.

Austin, who would become the country's first African American defense secretary, must obtain a congressional waiver because he has not been out of the military for a required seven years, a fact that has generated criticism from those who believe recently retired officers should not lead the Pentagon.In 2017, Hicks told lawmakers that while she believed that former military officers should be limited in their ability to serve in senior Pentagon roles, she supported a waiver for Jim Mattis, another retired general who became Trump's first defense secretary.

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