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Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense

 
 
gollum
 
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 10:38 am
He looks significantly overweight though he left active service only a few years ago. I thought the military doesn't allow that.

Am I wrong?
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:00 am
@gollum,
He’s also black, which is the main reason you have a problem with his appointment.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:00 am
@gollum,
The military doesn't encourage obesity but older officers often put on weight just like the rest of the population and he doesn't look that heavy to me.

So I think this guy sounds great, has great qualifications and should not be Sec Def due to his recent military service. There is a law saying you have to wait seven years for a reason. The head of the Joint Chiefs is the top military commander, the Sec Def is the head civilian. That system has worked well and there are plenty of other qualified people for the position.

Some reading: https://www.vox.com/22163420/biden-pentagon-lloyd-austin-senate-waiver
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:07 am
@engineer,
That seven year wait period is COMPLETELY arbitrary.

How in the hell can you judge whether a person “thinks civilian” enough?

Biden has worked with the man, and trusts his leadership and decision making.

The reasons to resist his appointment seem pretty weak to me.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:17 am
@snood,
Yep, it is arbitrary but it is the law and has been in place for several decades now. Seven years is enough for senior officers with direct allegiance to an outgoing general to move on, three is not. Civilian control of the military is a key part of our democracy and we've spent the last four years eroding that at every turn. There is no compelling reason to continue to do so.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:29 am
@engineer,
Is it the law or just standard practice?

If it is the law then Biden won’t be able to appoint him.

As far as standard practice goes, Trump has wiped his arse all over usual procedure, so Biden can do what he wants.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:33 am
@engineer,
I see nothing in Austin that makes me think he is incapable of making decisions as a civilian.
I see the arbitrary upholding of this tradition as no compelling reason to deny Biden’s pick .

I understand the fear of having a SecDef who can only think like a soldier. High minded arguments about the eroding of traditions notwithstanding, this comes down to a completely subjective matter of opinion about the individual in question.
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:54 am
@snood,
My subjective opinion about the individual in question is that he seems very qualified and accomplished from a military point of view. Unfortunately, we already have someone in that position, the head military person in the armed services. Austin has spent pretty much his entire adult life in the military, he is a military man through and through (and I say that as a compliment and a veteran myself). By law, that is not what the Sec Def is supposed to be. There was never an exemption granted to that law until Trump sought one for Mattis. I didn't support that one either. Civilian control of the military is an important element of our country going back to its founding. If everyone disregards it whenever it is inconvenient, it means nothing.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 11:56 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Is it the law or just standard practice?

It's a law but Congress can grant a waiver.

Quote:
(a)There is a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the Department of Defense, appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:04 pm
@engineer,
So his appointment depends on the runoff in Georgia?
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:05 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

My subjective opinion about the individual in question is that he seems very qualified and accomplished from a military point of view. Unfortunately, we already have someone in that position, the head military person in the armed services. Austin has spent pretty much his entire adult life in the military, he is a military man through and through (and I say that as a compliment and a veteran myself). By law, that is not what the Sec Def is supposed to be. There was never an exemption granted to that law until Trump sought one for Mattis. I didn't support that one either. Civilian control of the military is an important element of our country going back to its founding. If everyone disregards it whenever it is inconvenient, it means nothing.


I understand. You may be right.But, I’m more of the opinion that it’s easier for a military man to think like a civilian than it is for a civilian to think like a soldier. This retired general has seen and worked with civilian leadership a lot.

To say someone is qualified to do the job, but to hire him would erode an inviolable tradition just strikes me as kinda dumb. Trump was the first to do the waiver, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

We could go on, but I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:13 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

So his appointment depends on the runoff in Georgia?

No, I think Biden could get Republicans to approve the waiver. It's not like Austin is a bad pick and I don't see the appointment as particularly political. Plus politicians from both side who approved a waiver four years ago would have to explain why the change of heart if they voted against him.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:44 pm
@snood,
Quote:
That seven year wait period is COMPLETELY arbitrary.


Everything is COMPLETELY arbitrary. Why can an 18 year old vote, but not a 17 year old?

You have to set some limit if you want to put up a firewall.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:44 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

izzythepush wrote:

So his appointment depends on the runoff in Georgia?

No, I think Biden could get Republicans to approve the waiver. It's not like Austin is a bad pick and I don't see the appointment as particularly political. Plus politicians from both side who approved a waiver four years ago would have to explain why the change of heart if they voted against him.


I don’t think they will feel compelled to explain rank hypocrisy. They should, but that’s what ‘should’ will get get you.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:54 pm
@engineer,
I understood that the Republicans in Congress were likely to be bloody awkward, rubber stamping an appointment is one thing, but granting a waiver seems quite a lot to expect from the long kegs of Mitch McConnell.

Then again I’m hardly an expert in American politics which is why I ask questions like that.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 12:56 pm
@snood,
That’s the feeling I get. They rushed through Trump’s Supreme Court appointment’s but refused to countenance Obama’s.

That’s about as hypocritical as it gets, and they had no problems mealy mouthing their way out of that.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 08:50 pm
I think there is a good reason for the 7 year rule. Civilian leadership of the armed forces is key part of our democracy.

I am not sure if we should be breaking this rule no matter who the president is.

roger
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2020 09:40 pm
@maxdancona,
Personally, I'm tired of presidents just doing what they want. Matter of fact, that's why I voted against Trump.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2020 11:27 am
@gollum,
gollum wrote:

He looks significantly overweight though he left active service only a few years ago. I thought the military doesn't allow that.

Am I wrong?

He's also 67 years old. You asshat. If you don't know anything about the military maybe you shouldn't fat shame someone. Weight restrictions are based on a military member's age range. And he doesn't look overweight. And you don't know his BMI (body mass indicator) based on just looking at him.

https://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/army-weight-rules.html
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2020 11:34 am
@tsarstepan,
Look at the Op’s history. She has started a thread in which she vilified the Central Park 5 Long after they’d been exonerated.

She started another thread in which she said that black people are more criminal than their white counterparts.
0 Replies
 
 

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