Carper Meets With President-elect Biden’s Nominee for Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a 23-year veteran of the Navy and the Naval Reserves, released the following statement after meeting with General Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee to lead the Department of Defense.

“I had the opportunity to meet with General Lloyd Austin, a highly respected leader, decorated veteran, and an excellent and historic choice to be the next Secretary of Defense. As the former Commander of CENTCOM, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and with more than four decades of distinguished service in the U.S. Army, General Austin has a deep understanding of the organization he will lead, and of the ever-evolving national security threats our nation faces. In particular, his deep understanding of the counterterrorism and security challenges we face in the Middle East will be an asset as we confront a shifting threat landscape in that region. What’s more, General Austin’s philosophy of strategic patience, combined with his unique understanding of the many tools in our defense arsenal, will serve our nation well as we prepare to confront and deter aggression and unconventional threats posed by near-peer adversaries around the globe.

“Having led our men and women in uniform, General Austin possesses a deep appreciation of the sacrifices our service members and their families make on behalf of our nation. As a proud veteran and a fierce advocate of for our veteran community, I look forward to working with General Lloyd Austin and the incoming Administration to fulfill our nation’s most sacred duty: supporting our service members and their families at home and abroad, and ensuring they receive the care and opportunities they deserve once they return home. In particular, I was pleased to speak with General Austin regarding my support for our military and veteran students, and making sure they get the most out of their hard-earned benefits.

“During our conversation, General Austin expressed his strong belief that we must rebuild alliances and lead with diplomacy because no one country can confront the many challenges our world faces alone. In roles he has held throughout his career, General Austin has ably represented the United States to other countries around the globe. I am confident that he will continue to advocate for an approach based in diplomacy, statesmanship, and international cooperation, avoiding unnecessary confrontation wherever possible.

“There are individuals who have not worn the uniform for decades who would not have the experience, the acumen or the temperament to succeed in this critical post. My priority is ensuring that we confirm the right person for this job in this moment, and I believe that General Austin is that person. General Austin is a tested leader and a patriot, and President-elect Biden’s confidence in his leadership speaks volumes. We are lucky that he is ready and willing to serve his country once again. I believe that with General Austin as our Secretary of Defense, our service members and their civilian leadership at the Pentagon will have an advocate who can provide thoughtful, steady leadership and appropriate consultation with Congress when it comes to addressing the most pressing threats to our national security.”