Biden elected Austin for Secretary of Defense

Joe Biden will appoint retired Army General Lloyd Jay Austin as the future Secretary of Defense. Biden's decision could be met with disagreement by some members of Congress who believe that the military and civilian leadership of the Pentagon should be separated.

Austin, who oversaw U.S. forces in the Middle East during President Barack Obama's term, will thus become the first African-American to head the Pentagon. Biden's choice was confirmed by the persons who asked to remain anonymous before the official announcement.

Austin will need to get a waiver from Congress because less than the required seven years have passed since he served in the military.

Austin led the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq during the invasion of that country in 2003. He returned to Iraq to head US forces in September 2010 and held that position until 2011, when the United States withdrew.

A year later, Obama appointed him commander of the Central Command, in charge of 20 countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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