Biden Overrules Pentagon and Names a Female Admiral to Head the Navy

The president doesn’t normally hand-pick the Navy’s top officer, so Biden’s decision to tap Franchetti for the job could be seen as a rebuke of Austin. But the move has not caused tension in the relationship, Sullivan said on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum.

“The president had the chance to sit with the secretary of Defense, and they worked this slate together, and this is the slate, and that’s a good thing,” he said.

Asked if there was any daylight between Biden and Austin, Sullivan said, “I don’t believe there is.” Both men ended the discussion “feeling very good about where we are,” he said.

“As our next chief of naval operations, Admiral Lisa Franchetti will bring 38 years of dedicated service to our nation as a commissioned officer, including in her current role of vice chief of naval operations,” Biden said in his statement. “Throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has demonstrated extensive expertise in both the operational and policy arenas.”

What do you suppose the Russians and Chinese think about all this “diversity”? I guess if/when we go to war with either of them, we’ll find out.

But the unintended irony of Biden in criticizing Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) for holding up Pentagon nominations over the military’s policy on abortion is laughable.

“What Senator Tuberville is doing is not only wrong — it is dangerous,” said Biden. “In this moment of rapidly evolving security environments and intense competition, he is risking our ability to ensure that the United States Armed Forces remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. And his Republican colleagues in the Senate know it.”

By overriding the recommendation of his defense chief and putting in a less experienced female for the top job in the Navy, who is “risking our ability to ensure that the United States Armed Forces remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world?”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Adm. Franchetti’s new position as Secretary of the Navy. We apologize to our readers for this error. 

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