Should Michèle Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?
Tuesday November 24, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden faces monumental challenges, left to him by an exceptionally dysfunctional administration now heading for the exits—despite temper tantrums en route. Among those challenges, one hardly mentioned during the campaign is stemming the runaway appetite in the Pentagon, the defense industry, and Congress for never-ending increases in the military budget.
The president-elect’s apparent pick for secretary of defense, Michèle Flournoy, would not squelch that appetite. Her stated prescriptions for defense are to bring in people ill-suited to curb Pentagon spending, kill off badly needed oversight, and worsen long-standing pathologies that make our armed forces smaller, older, and weaker.
Keep in mind Flournoy‘s extensive defense industry ties. In 2002 she went from positions in the Pentagon and the National Defense University to the mainstream but hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is largely funded by industry and Pentagon contributions. Five years later, she co-founded the second-most heavily contractor-funded think tank in Washington, the highly influential Center for a New American Security (CNAS).