- Michele Flournoy is a politically moderate Pentagon veteran who has years of experience in the Department of Defense and is regarded by US officials as a top choice for the position.
- Her possible appointment would end a tumultuous period under President Trump that has seen five men hold the job in the last four years.
- If she is confirmed, Flournoy could be put in charge of deploying the military to distribute a coronavirus vaccine.
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President-elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint Michele Flournoyas the head of the Pentagon, which would be the first time a woman has held the position.
Flournoy is a politically moderate Pentagon veteran who previously acted as a senior defense adviser in both the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. She had also been the expected choice of Hillary Clinton if she had won the 2016 election.
With years of experience in the Department of Defense, Flournoy is regarded by US officials as a top choice for the position.
If the US Senate confirms her appointment, it will end a tumultuous period under President Trump that has seen five men hold the job in the last four years.
The most recent defense secretary to leave the Pentagon was Mark Esper. He was abruptly fired on Monday after disagreeing with the president over several issues, including using force against civilian protesters and support for the Confederacy.
His termination was part of a major reshuffle instigated by Trump, who filled senior defense positions with loyalists, including a retired US Army brigadier general who previously called Former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”
The move has alarmed Pentagon officials, who have called it “scary” and “very unsettling.”
“These are dictator moves,” one defense official told CNN.
Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, also said in a statement on Tuesday that the “gutting” of the department ought to “alarm” Americans and that the next few months could be “downright dangerous.”
If she is confirmed, Flournoy could be put in charge of deploying the military to distribute a coronavirus vaccine.
She is also keen to rebuild the country’s international reputation, telling a conference in March that “it’s going to take a lot of work over a number of years to recover that trust and that standing,” the Guardian reported.
Her appointment would come five years after the department opened all combat jobs to female service members.