Shaheen Meets with President-elect Biden’s Secretary of Defense Nominee

December 16, 2020

DefenseNominee

Senator Shaheen meets virtually with Secretary of Defense nominee Lloyd Austin in her Washington, DC office earlier today. 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after meeting with Secretary of Defense nominee General Lloyd Austin:

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with General Austin this afternoon, where we discussed a number of critical issues impacting our national security that I believe must be top priorities for our next Secretary of Defense and under the Biden administration,” said Shaheen. “Protecting our national defense against foreign intrusion from adversaries like China and Russia, bolstering women’s roles in peace and conflict negotiations and investing in New Hampshire’s role in support of our national defense were among these key issues.”

Shaheen continued, “I appreciated hearing about General Austin’s extensive military career, including his leadership as CENTCOM Commander where he oversaw U.S. military operations throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan, which is especially important considering the uncertainty of Afghanistan’s future amid fraught negotiations. This is of particular significance as we evaluate the role of U.S. forces not only in Afghanistan, but also Syria and Iraq where the United States has made hard fought gains to rid the region of ISIS, which has made a resurgence following the Trump administration’s unconditioned draw down. In addition to these pressing concerns, I also made clear to General Austin that the next Secretary of Defense must work to integrate and elevate women at the Pentagon and throughout our national security structures. I look forward to his testimony and consideration before the Senate Armed Services Committee early in the new year.”