U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on personnel, has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III expressing her concerns about the blanket holds that Senator Tommy Tuberville has placed on nearly 160 Department of Defense (DoD) military nominees.
Warren is asking the Pentagon chief for more information about the national security and military readiness impacts of these holds.
A former Auburn University football coach whose platform was largely a blanket promise to support Donald Trump at all times, Tuberville has been preventing the Senate from advancing DoD nominees, including the commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Middle East and 7th Fleet in the Pacific and the U.S. Military Representative to NATO’s Military Committee, since February of this year.
Warren claims she is worried that these indiscriminate delays could affect military personnel worldwide.
In her letter Warren highlights that in the coming months, the consequences could escalate, with many senior military leaders set to retire or leave their posts, including 70 three- and four-star generals and admirals.
She said the President’s principal military advisor, and the heads of U.S. Northern Command, Space Command, and Cyber Command are also set to rotate out of their posts this year.
The letter reveals that Austin and other national security officials have warned at Senate Armed Services Committee hearings that these holds harm military readiness and that they have impacted the US military’s ability to respond to potential threats from Iran, China, and North Korea.
Warren is requesting that the Department of Defense provide information on which positions will go unfilled and the risks these vacancies pose to U.S. national security and military readiness no later than April 21, 2023.
“The American people deserve to know the impacts of these holds,” said Warren in her letter, adding that she is committed to conducting vigorous oversight of military policy and decision-making.
Warren said she is hoping that her request for information will help to shed light on the issue and help prevent any negative impact on U.S. national security and military readiness.
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