A Dangerous Sign of Weakness from Washington

The fact that the U.S. Secretary of Defense kept his illness a secret from everyone is not just a problem for Joe Biden but the whole world.

A wave of indignation is currently sweeping across the U.S. and has also reached the ranks of the ruling Democrats. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his department initially kept Austin’s cancer diagnosis and hospitalization on Jan. 1 secret from the public, Congress and the president. Even Austin’s deputy, Kathleen Hicks, who was on vacation at the time, was not immediately informed. She took over from Puerto Rico days later.

Austin has since resumed work and apologized for his poor “communication.” U.S. President Joe Biden wants to hold on to his defense secretary despite numerous calls for his resignation.

Case closed? No. Because, with all due respect for Austin’s privacy, the outrage is more than justified in this case. It’s about more than just a lack of proper communication. A rudderless U.S. Department of Defense is not just a problem for U.S. national security but also for the international order. It sends a sign of weakness to countries around the world that are currently clamoring for a new world order. If the U.S. is losing control of the military chain of command at home, how will it remain the geopolitical peacekeeping power in the context of numerous crises worldwide? This is where the limit to personal privacy must lie.

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About Kirsty Low 74 Articles
I am a German to English translator from Scotland with a passion for all things related to language and translation. I have experience translating texts from diverse fields and enjoy taking on new challenges.

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