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Biden's Asia policy

Biden taps ex-army general as defense chief to navigate Indo-Pacific

Lloyd Austin led counterinsurgency ops but China strategy unknown

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden seen with Gen. Lloyd Austin, center, then the U.S. Forces Iraq commander, on Dec. 1, 2011, in Baghdad during an award ceremony. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Forces Iraq)

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he has chosen Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star army general as his secretary of defense, who, if confirmed, would be the first Black person to serve in the post.

"Throughout his lifetime of dedicated service -- and in the many hours we've spent together in the White House Situation Room and with our troops overseas -- Gen. Austin has demonstrated exemplary leadership, character, and command," Biden said in a statement.

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