Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 19 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/7/20

Why Jeh Johnson Would Be a Better Defense Secretary Than Michele Flournoy

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 3852
Message Medea Benjamin
Become a Fan
  (35 fans)

CODEPINK protests killer drones at DC home of Jeh Johnson
CODEPINK protests killer drones at DC home of Jeh Johnson
(Image by Code Pink)
  Details   DMCA

by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies

President-elect Biden's choice for Secretary of Defense has turned out to be one of the most controversial and difficult of his Cabinet appointments. The early front-runner, Michèle Flournoy, was originally seen as a shoo-in and was touted as a great breakthrough for women, but her hawkish views have provoked serious concerns. Biden now appears to be also considering two Black Americans promoted by the Congressional Black Caucus: Jeh Johnson and retired General Lloyd Austin.

All three are flawed candidates to anyone who wants to see an end to the endless wars and to stop the revolving door between the Pentagon and military contractors. They all sit on boards of companies that profit from militarismJohnson at Lockheed Martin, Austin at Raytheon and Flournoy at Booz, Allen, Hamilton. All have supported most or all post-9/11 U.S. military interventions. None would be our preference.

But Biden is not going to appoint someone truly committed to peace and disarmament, like Congresswoman Barbara Lee or retired Colonel Ann Wright, a senior diplomat who resigned from the State Department to protest the Iraq War.

So who is the "least worst" choice? While General Austin has some good qualitieshis experience in overseeing major troop withdrawals from Iraq and his opposition to further U.S. involvement in Syriaappointing a recently retired military officer would violate long-standing traditions and laws that stipulate that the Secretary of Defense must be a civilian.

The Republican-controlled Senate set a dangerous precedent when it approved a waiver of the National Security Act and confirmed General Mattis as Trump's Defense Secretary in 2017. As Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, said at that time, "Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule." We agree.

That leaves Flournoy and Johnson. We are afraid that Flournoy would be an especially dangerous choice for America and the world. Given the additional time that President-elect Biden is taking over this decision, he, too, seems to have reservations about her.

As Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during Obama's first term, Flournoy clearly did not see eye-to-eye with Vice President Biden on many of the Obama administration's most fateful decisions. Biden opposed military escalation in Afghanistan, while Flournoy supported it. Flournoy also backed military intervention and regime change in Libya, while Biden insists that he argued strongly against it.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Medea Benjamin Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace and author of Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection. 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ten Reasons to Move Cheney's Book to the Crime Section

Tom Cotton is the Worst Bully in the Senate ---- Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Hillary Clinton and Saudi Arabia

The Egyptian General and the Gladiola

Dear Jon Stewart, Sane People Protest Crazy Wars

Julian Assange: Wikileaks Has the Goods on the Deaths of Innocent Iraqis Killed by the US

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: