WASHINGTON — A woman could serve as secretary of the Army in the Department of Defense for the first time.
President Joe Biden will faucet Christine Wormuth, a former adviser for the Defense Department throughout former President Barack Obama’s phrases in workplace, to helm a department of the navy that’s below scrutiny amid a number of current occasions, together with the riot at the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6. Pentagon officers allegedly delayed authorization to deploy National Guard troops to quell the assaults, in accordance to testimony from the head of the District of Columbia National Guard.
The Defense Department has additionally been criticized for unchecked sexual harassment and assault on some navy bases and systemic failures in addressing sexual assault complaints.
Here’s what to learn about Christine Wormuth:
She is a global safety skilled
Wormuth directs the the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND Corporation, a public coverage analysis group, the place she can also be a senior fellow. She writes and speaks about international coverage, nationwide and homeland safety in the function.
She joined the Obama administration in 2009
Wormuth served as the principal deputy assistant secretary of protection for homeland protection and civil help, according to The White House. Per her LinkedIn page, Wormuth was promoted to particular assistant to the president and senior director for protection in 2010. Four years later, the U.S. Senate confirmed her as the below secretary of protection for coverage, in accordance to a Defense Department biography. Wormuth’s chief obligation was principal workers assistant to former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and former Deputy Secretary Ash Carter in growing nationwide safety and protection coverage and oversight of nationwide safety goals.
She served as workers director of ‘The Jones Commission’
The fee was designed to conduct an impartial evaluation of Iraqi Security Forces throughout former President George W. Bush’s second time period in workplace. ISF was evaluated on its means to safe Iraq’s 18 provinces, deny terrorists a secure haven and convey an finish to sectarian violence, in accordance to the Center for Strategic & International Studies. As workers director, Wormuth traveled to Iraq to assess the readiness of Iraqi police forces, in accordance to the Defense Department.
She led the Biden-Harris Defense Agency Review Team
Wormuth was one of six principally feminine members of Biden’s Pentagon transition staff, Foreign Policy reported. She assisted in establishing a record of priorities for the administration’s international coverage goals.
Secretary of Defense endorses her
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed confidence in Biden’s pick in an official statement launched Monday.
“Christine is a true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation’s security,” Austin said. “As the former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Christine advanced the department’s counter-ISIS campaign and the rebalance to Asia, and her deep expertise will be critical in addressing and deterring today’s global threats, including the pacing challenge from China and nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and North Korea.”
“I have no doubt that, if confirmed, she will lead our soldiers and represent their families with honor and integrity as the Secretary of the Army,” he continued.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, additionally lauded Wormuth’s nomination.
“This is a historic nomination. Christine Wormuth has dedicated her distinguished career to public service and safeguarding the nation,” Reed stated in an announcement. “She brings experience, expertise, and strategic vision to this new role, having served in senior level positions throughout the Department of Defense and the NSC.”
The challenges Wormuth faces
Wormuth, if confirmed, will inherit problems from her predecessor that range from dysfunction in the treatment and safety of soldiers at one of its key installations and concerns about politics swaying its decisions in dealing with domestic unrest.
Fort Hood, the sprawling Army post in Texas, became the epicenter last year for the Army’s troubled history of handling of sexual harassment and assault. The murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen there last year exposed how complaints about sexual harassment, of which she had raised, and the safety of soldiers in general had been called into question.
Guillen’s complaint and murder, though not connected, according to the Army, prompted a wide-ranging, independent investigation of life on Fort Hood. The panel found commanders at the Army’s largest base had created a “permissive environment” that allowed sexual harassment and assault to occur with little consequence. Wormuth’s predecessor, Ryan McCarthy, fired or suspended 14 Army leaders at Fort Hood as a result of the investigation.
Last June, Pentagon and Army leaders fended off attempts by then-President Donald Trump to deploy active duty troops to quell mostly peaceful protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. However, aggressive tactics by the Army National Guard, under McCarthy’s authority, drew criticism and an inspector general’s investigation after demonstrators were blasted by winds from low-flying military helicopters.
Members of Congress blasted McCarthy and other Pentagon leaders after they were seen as slow to respond to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of the District of Columbia National Guard, said it took senior officials at the Pentagon more than three hours to allow him to send reinforcements to support beleaguered Capitol Police. Walker testified he needed just 20 minutes to send help.
Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook