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Biden Considering Retired African American Gen. Austin as Nominee for Pentagon Head, Report Says

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteArmy Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command
Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Projected US President-elect Joe Biden is considering retired African American four-star General Lloyd Austin as a nominee for defense secretary, US media have reported.

If appointed, Austin will be the first African American chief of the Pentagon in US history. According to the Axios news outlet, Biden's team is facing pressure to appoint an African American official as a senior member of the cabinet.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, center, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., right, stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and The New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio.  - Sputnik International
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The shortlist of the candidates for the chief of the Pentagon also includes former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, female veteran and Senator Tammy Duckworth and female former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy.

Flournoy was thought to be a frontrunner, but later other factors – such as race, experience and Biden's comfort level – came into play, Axios reported, citing its sources. Austin headed the US Central Command between 2013 and 2016, after which he announced his retirement. 

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