The elected US President Joe Biden wants to fill more key positions with confidants. Kathleen Hicks should become Deputy Secretary of Defense according to Biden’s wishes, he announced in a statement on Wednesday.
If Hicks is approved by the Senate, she will become the first woman in office. Hicks worked as a high-ranking official in the Pentagon under US President Obama. She currently leads Biden’s transition team at the Department of Defense, most recently for the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies active in Washington.
The third highest office in the Pentagon will in future be held by Colin Kahl, he is also considered a confidante of Biden, once he served as national security advisor.
Retired general is to become defense minister
Biden had previously appointed retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. Under Obama he commanded the US armed forces in the Middle East and would be the first African-American Secretary of Defense in US history.
General Austin was considered a surprising choice. According to a report by Politico, Hicks, among others, had spoken out in favor of high-ranking official Michèle Flournoy. Apparently, some officials in the Pentagon had concerns about relinquishing the office of Defense Secretary to a soldier. Under Donald Trump, civilian influence in the Pentagon had declined.
Hicks argued against the withdrawal of troops from Germany
Hicks and Kahl have decades of national security experience and know the Pentagon well, Biden said in the statement. The two distinguished civilians would help run the Department of Defense with integrity and determination.
Hicks is a PhD in political science. In April she argued in an opinion article that Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw 11,900 US soldiers from Germany was wrong. The withdrawal undermined the interests of the United States, Hicks analyzed at the time. Trump simply harbors a personal grudge against Germany.
The ministers and high-ranking employees nominated by Biden have in common that they have experience and are often more in the middle than far to the left. The figureheads of the left, especially Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, must fear not being considered.