New Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin on the Arctic

New Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin on the Arctic

The constants are different, but the vector is the same
How did it happen that the new Secretary of Defense approved by the 46th President of the United States Joe Biden in the Senate, the person who is the seventh person in the state and the sixth in the line of succession to the presidency in the official hierarchy, spoke about the Arctic region two days before his appointment?

This is despite the fact that tongue-tied language is considered a hallmark of General Lloyd James Austin III. In any case, the American press does not think too highly of his oratorical qualities. Despite Austin’s high posts in the army, he almost never gave interviews, much less shared his views on foreign policy. And if he said something, it was often out of place.

The paratrooper who gave the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, decades of service, Lloyd Austin, although he knows firsthand about the war, is politically inexperienced and, as they say, cuts the truth off his shoulder. Sometimes not guessing the political mainstream.

For example, a year before retiring in 2016, the general admitted during a congressional hearing that the US $ 500 million US training program for Syrian fighters had failed, and American instructors had only managed to train a handful of local soldiers. At the same hearing, he, driven into a corner by the questions of meticulous congressmen, “gave a blunder”, saying that he had no idea about Russia’s goals in the Syrian company. How can a general not know about the plans of the insidious Russians?

It is possible that after these corrosive questions Austin, realizing his weaknesses, decided next time to read from a piece of paper. And, perhaps, read out the text prepared by the curators in advance. The occasion presented itself, and this time, in a more “thoughtful” text, a special place was given to the Arctic.

Austin’s statement referred to climate change in the Arctic, which “is changing its natural landscape and strategic balance.” The literally retired General Austin, who became head of the Pentagon two days later, said in his speech to Congress:

“The Arctic is rapidly becoming a region of geopolitical competition, and I am seriously concerned about the build-up of Russian military forces and Russia’s aggressive behavior in the Arctic and around the world. Likewise, I am deeply concerned about China’s intentions in the region. ”

This statement organically fit both into the concept of strengthening the role of the US Air Force in the Arctic, adopted under Donald Trump, and into the new strategy of the US Coast Guard, which, to counter growing Russia and China (this is exactly what the document says), joins forces with the Marine Corps and the Navy. in order to “ensure freedom of navigation” and “establish dominance in the world’s oceans.” By the way, it was under Trump in 2018 that the second US Navy fleet was recreated in order to promptly contain Russia in the North Atlantic and maintain freedom of navigation in the Arctic.

Lloyd Austin and Joe Biden. Photo: EPA-EFE
Lloyd Austin and Joe Biden. Photo: EPA-EFE

Lloyd Austin promised the senators, among whom there are many supporters of the former president, who relied on the arms lobby, that “he will study the situation even deeper and consult with allies and partners on the general strategy in the region, the deployment of forces and weapons necessary to maintain a stable open Arctic.”

After that, and at the insistence of Biden, Lloyd Austin was approved. Of course, this means that whatever the constants of American policy under different presidents, the vector is always the same, and it points to Russia and China as the main opponents of the United States. In a word, the arms race will continue.

Former Objectives – New Lobbying Style
Under Trump, a number of controversies emerged in the NATO Alliance, caused by the 45th president’s too persistent, even mentoring, manner of imposing American weapons on NATO allies and demanding them to increase defense spending by up to 2 percent in correlation with GDP.

Lloyd Austin, on behalf of the gun lords, will do the same, but in a more friendly, enveloping manner of a lobbyist for the US military-industrial complex. The fact is that the new head of the Pentagon, prior to his appointment, was a member of the board of the American military-industrial company Raytheon, which is one of the largest suppliers of weapons and military equipment for all branches of the armed forces of the United States and allied countries.

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Raytheon, along with Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is one of the “Big Three” largest defense contractors of the government, manufacturing weapons and military equipment for the US Army, Air Force, and Navy. It is “Raytheon” that is the developer of the Patriot air defense system, the manufacturer of the Tomahawk cruise missiles, many types of air-to-surface missiles, the Stinger MANPADS, and other types of weapons, produces a wide range of radio stations, thermal imaging glasses, GPS navigators. In cooperation with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon participates in joint projects in aircraft construction and the rocket and space defense sector. So the interests of the US military-industrial complex will be fully taken into account when equipping the countries of the Arctic region – NATO members and sympathizers of the bloc with the latest Raytheon missiles and other equipment produced by this arms giant.

The Raytheon plant. Photo: Raytheon Technologies
The Raytheon plant. Photo: Raytheon Technologies

Racial factor in careers
Lloyd Austin’s African American background certainly played a role as well. Much less than the influence of the Raytheon concern, but quite significant. The appointment of the first black head of the Pentagon in American history is also an argument in favor of tolerance.

Skin color, of course, matters in America today, especially when you consider that Austin’s candidacy was insisted on by the so-called “black caucus” of Congress – a union of African American MPs. The fact is that 43% of the active component of the US Armed Forces are “colored” military personnel. The Black Caucus and BLM representatives were outraged that they were almost exclusively commanded by whites.

The black minister of defense appeared at an opportune moment. He will calm down the adherents of the racial revolution and at the same time give the African American lobby weight. Although it is not easy to mislead black activists. For example, during the Obama presidency, the most implacable nicknamed him “Eclair”, claiming that black Obama is only outside, and his filling is white …

As for the former members of the Obama cabinet, many of them have already returned to their posts. Lloyd Austin, by the way, being responsible for the campaigns in Iraq and Syria from 2013 to 2016, participated in the development of the plan for the storming of Raqqa together with the Barack Obama administration. They met more than once at various meetings and each time they emphasized their sympathy for each other.

It should be borne in mind that Austin is a military officer and holder of the “Silver Star”, a paratrooper who has given the armed forces for 41 years.

So, the new head of the Pentagon is a former military man who has established himself as a responsible executive-warrior, not an extraordinary thinker, a lobbyist for the military-industrial complex. It is this figure that suits Biden and those behind him now.

According to The New York Times, Joe Biden did not like the influence of the military on the head of state when he was vice president under Obama. Biden with this appointment killed two birds with one stone: firstly, he showed the military-industrial complex that the rights of the gun barons would not be infringed, and the arms race, like allocations for new developments, would continue, and secondly, in the person of Austin, the head of the White House received a loyal and an executive person who is not burdened with excessive initiative. The racial factor should not be overestimated, because there are not many blacks in the future Biden administration.