Biden faces uphill battle to get Gen. Lloyd Austin confirmed for Secretary of Defense

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Lloyd Austin III

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)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Joe Biden is making his case for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense, urging Congress to waive a legal prohibition against a recently serving military officer running the Pentagon.

With concern rising in Congress about maintaining civilian control of the military, Biden is suggesting he feels a need to counter an emerging narrative that Austin’s nomination blurs the lines between civil and military roles.

Writing in The Atlantic on Tuesday, Biden urged Congress to grant such a waiver.

He said, “Given the immense and urgent threats and challenges our nation faces, he should be confirmed swiftly.”

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