Washington The future US President Joe Biden wants to strengthen the role of diplomacy in his foreign and defense policy and revive traditional alliances. Biden emphasized this at the presentation of his candidate for the office of defense minister, Lloyd Austin, on Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, in the hometown of the elected US president. The US had to make sure “that the use of force is the last tool in our tool kit. The last resort we use to protect our national security – not the first. “
If Austin prevails, he would be the first black to head the Pentagon. Biden said of the former four-star general: “He shares my heartfelt belief in the values of the American alliances. And he is just as committed as I to the reconstruction and modernization of these alliances – from the Asia-Pacific region to Europe and the whole world as Germany criticizes again and again.
Biden further emphasized: “We have to prepare for the challenges of the future and not just continue the wars of the past. We must build a foreign policy that conducts diplomacy and revitalizes our alliances, brings American leadership back to the table and brings the world together to address global threats to our security – from pandemics to climate change, from nuclear proliferation to the Refugee crisis. “
Lloyd Austin has emphasized the importance of allies for the US. “I firmly believe that (…) America is strongest when it works together with its allies,” said the former four-star general on Wednesday at his presentation in Wilmington. He is well aware of the important role the Defense Ministry is playing “in maintaining stability and deterring aggression and in defending and supporting key alliances around the world”. He explicitly named the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
Austin would need not only Senate approval but also a special approval from Congress. According to the applicable rules, there must be a period of at least seven years between active military service and an appointment as Minister of Defense. The background is that the Pentagon is to be run by a civilian. Biden said, “There are good reasons for this law that I fully understand and respect, and I would not ask for an exception here if I did not believe that this moment in our history calls for it.” Austin said, ” deep appreciation and awe of the prevailing wisdom “of civilian control of the military.
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