The US Senate has confirmed that retired four-star General Lloyd Austin is the first black Secretary of Defense in the nation’s history. On Friday, the House of Congress approved the appointment of the 67-year-old by a large majority. The former Commander of US Military Command Centcom received 93 votes in his favor, and there were only two votes against
Lloyd is the first new president Joe Biden Designated Minister who has been confirmed in office. On Wednesday – the day Biden took office – the Senate approved the appointment of new intelligence coordinator Avril Haines.
Austin is now the first African American to make history at the helm of the Pentagon. However, the nomination was not without controversy: the Army General was experienced in Iraq And in Afghanistan He only left the armed forces in 2016. In fact, former officers are not allowed to take over the Pentagon until seven years after their retirement. This is to ensure civilian leadership of the Ministry of Defense.
Austin needed special permission from Congress for this. It was released on Thursday.
Austin has a career in the armed forces that spanned more than 40 years. Graduated from West Point Military Academy, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was one of the commanders in 2003 when US forces entered Baghdad. In the next two years, he headed the Combined Task Force 180 in Afghanistan, which was supposed to ensure stability in the country of civil war.
In 2010 he became commander in chief of US forces in Iraq and assumed command of the then president the following year Barack Obama He ordered the withdrawal of troops from the country. Biden was Vice President at the time.
In 2012, Obama named Austin the first African-American in history to command the US military command, responsible for the Middle East and Afghanistan, among others. In this role, Austin led a fight United States of America Against the jihadist “Islamic State” militia in Iraq Syria.