Top Senate Republican has 'serious concerns' over Pentagon policy pick

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“Sen. [Jim] Inhofe remains to be reviewing Mr. Kahl’s nomination carefully and appears ahead to listening to from him on these points within the coming weeks,” a spokesperson for Inhofe stated. “He has critical considerations with among the policy positions that Mr. Kahl has taken prior to now.”

The affirmation listening to is barely the third for President Joe Biden’s Pentagon nominees, after Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Protection Secretary Kathleen Hicks. Kahl served as then-Vice President Biden’s nationwide safety adviser from 2014 to 2017.

Kahl’s affirmation listening to has been delayed for weeks because the Biden administration works to verify Cupboard members. Biden’s picks are on the mercy of a 50-50 Senate, which means one Democratic defection might spell doom if all Republicans oppose a nominee. The nomination of Neera Tanden, for instance, Biden’s pick to steer the Workplace of Administration and Finances, is in peril after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin signaled his opposition to the selection.

Austin was simply confirmed two days after Biden’s inauguration in January and the Senate accredited Hicks in early February. However Armed Providers hasn’t held one other affirmation listening to since, and Biden hasn’t formally nominated any extra senior Pentagon officers moreover Kahl.

However there are indicators of rising resistance to Kahl’s nomination within the GOP ranks. Other than Inhofe’s assertion, Republicans have privately criticized Kahl’s promotion of the Iran deal, often called the Joint Complete Plan of Motion, which one GOP congressional staffer stated helped fund terrorist actions all through the Center East. The staffer additionally famous that Kahl labored on Center East policy in the course of the Obama administration whereas the Islamic State gained energy in Iraq.

One other particular person with data of the discussions stated the GOP opposition to Kahl is political. The Republicans “desire a scalp, and for some purpose have picked out Colin,” the particular person stated.

Kahl declined to remark.

Throughout Kahl’s time within the White Home, he was a key participant in shaping the marketing campaign towards the Islamic State, and was a robust advocate of the Iran deal. He later warned that if President Donald Trump walked away from the settlement, as he did in 2018, Iran would ramp up its nuclear actions and regional provocations.

Because the Pentagon’s Center East policy chief from 2009 to 2011, he oversaw a collection of navy deployments to the Gulf to counter Iranian aggression. In that place, Kahl additionally helped implement the Iraq drawdown, and labored to strengthen protection ties with Israel. In the summertime of 2009, he labored to approve U.S. support for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system.

It is unclear how widespread the Republican opposition to Kahl is on the Armed Providers Committee and within the wider Senate.

The put up of undersecretary for policy is among the many most influential within the Pentagon, shaping quite a few strategic evaluations and policy debate, and is often among the many first posts stuffed by a brand new administration.

The Senate confirmed former President Barack Obama’s first pick for the policy put up, Michèle Flournoy, in early February 2009. The Trump administration, in the meantime, stuffed the put up on an performing foundation for practically its first yr till John Rood was confirmed for the job in January 2018.

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