It’s bad enough that we have Biden as our president for the next four years. On top of that, he’s also responsible for filling the cabinet, and it looks like he’s going to play favorites. Now, the Pentagon has also identified that there is approximately 40 percent of the top Department of Defense jobs left without unconfirmed officials.
Who will be responsible for filling these jobs? Well, that would be Joe Biden – and he’ll need to work quickly in order to keep the DOD up and running sufficiently.
There are 24 positions of the 60 within the DOD that are Senate confirmable spots that are also currently not occupied. Even if Trump were to try to appoint all of the positions within the next week, there wouldn’t be enough time to acquire Senate confirmation.
Time is running out.
So, we’ll have to wait until Biden assumes office to take care of what the DOD needs.
Most of the vacancies are within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The General Counsel of the Army, the Undersecretary of the Navy, and the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration are some of the open positions.
Filling these positions has been an issue. The Trump administration was slow to fill the spots because of not having a sufficient pool of qualified individuals.
It’s not uncommon for it to take a while to nominate and confirm the positions. Biden will need to prioritize this so that we’re not in the same position entering 2021.
On average, throughout both the Obama and Trump administration, it can take approximately five months to nominate and another two months to get a Senate confirmation.
It’s likely that we’re going to see Biden playing favorites in this area, too. He seems to have quite a bit of corruption behind him. As a career politician, he focuses on where he can give jobs to ensure that it benefits him (and his family) in the best way possible.
If he’s not already looking at nominating many of these key positions, he needs to be thinking about it. There’s also the possibility that the Senate may take longer with the confirmations. If the GOP maintains the majority, they may decide to shoot down some of Biden’s picks. Why? It could be that they don’t like his picks or to remind Biden that they have the majority and, therefore, more control.
With so many positions left unfilled, it leads us to a number of issues. While we have the Secretary of Defense, we are missing many of the Assistant Secretaries for such divisions of defense as Legislative Affairs, Space Policy, Readiness, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and International Security Affairs.
The appointment of these positions has not fallen squarely on Trump. Rather, it is the Secretary of Defense’s responsibility to specify who should be filling these positions. Christopher C. Miller is only the Acting Secretary, and he hasn’t been in the position for more than a month.
The firing of Mark Esper, the Defense Secretary, was a major blow to the department. It has led to a major gap – and now that is something that becomes Biden’s problem, not Trump’s.
Regardless of who is chosen as the Secretary of Defense, they’re going to be busy, alongside Biden, to get positions nominated and confirmed. Otherwise, we run into a situation where the country is ill-equipped to handle a number of issues.
Nothing seemed to go as planned in 2020. Rather than being able to worry about DOD positions, Trump was forced to deal with such things as an impeachment hearing as well as a global pandemic. Now, we’re handing over a lot of important positions to be filled by Biden. Let’s hope the Secretary of Defense is capable of guiding him toward picks that will be what’s best for the military.