Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Central Intelligence Agency / Ben Balter (background)

Beneath the high-profile conflicts over civil liberties or targeted killings, a myriad more mundane decisions lie at the intersection of national security and the law. Our constitutional process requires the advice and consent of the Senate for many high-level executive positions, including those responsible for national security, and each year, Congress must pass a budget that includes funding for the armed forces and intelligence agencies. Sometimes these confirmation and budgetary battles become proxy fights for larger and deeper disagreements, and often, they simply reflect the petty partisan politics of the age.

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Latest in Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Congress: Don’t Grant Austin a Waiver, but If You Do, Reform the Process

Congress shouldn’t wave through another recently retired general to serve as defense secretary. But if it does, it must turn this norm-breaking act into an opportunity to restore the United States’s commitment to civilian control of the military.

 

Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

The Military Waiver Requirement for Secretary of Defense Shouldn’t Substitute Individuation

Gen. Lloyd Austin’s nomination for defense secretary has prompted many civil-military experts to criticize the pick as damaging to civilian control over the military. But the categorical assumptions the experts make are flawed.

National Security Agency (NSA)

How Did a Trump Loyalist Come to Be Named NSA General Counsel—And What Should Biden Do About It?

Trump political appointee Michael Ellis has been named to an important career position. Congress should investigate the suspicious circumstances of the selection, and the Biden transition should think carefully about what to do on Jan. 20.

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