From Iraq to Raytheon: Who is General Lloyd Austin, Joe Biden’s Defence Secretary Pick?

Joe Biden has selected retired Army General Lloyd Austin to serve as his defense secretary if the presumptive 2020 winner takes the oath of office in January, Politico reports.

According to The Associated Press, Biden offered and Austin accepted the post on Sunday. The position was reportedly accepted on condition of anonymity because the selection was not yet formally announced.

Austin, who retired in 2016, served as the first Black commander of US troops in the Middle East and if confirmed, would be the African American to head the Pentagon. 

Who is he?

Graduating from the US Military Academy in 1975 graduate at West Point, Austin has served in uniform for 41 years.

The 67-year old hails from Thomasville, Georgia, and holds a master’s degree in education from Auburn University and another MA in business management from Webster University.

Austin served as vice chief of staff of the Army and was the last US commanding general in Iraq before the full withdrawal in 2011. During his tenure in the Middle East, he worked closely with then-Vice President Biden.

Between 2013 and 2016, the four-star general served during the Obama administration as the head of US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for overseeing activity in the Middle East, Central Asia, and part of South Asia.

He was also the primary military architect of the US-led assault on the Daesh in Iraq and Syria. During this time, he was given $500 million to put together a rebel army in Syria…

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