Sunday, June 16, 2024

See where Sen. Tommy Tuberville is blocking 301 military promotions

See where Sen. Tommy Tuberville is blocking 301 military promotions


From Alabama to Asia, the scope of senior military officers frozen in place by a dispute between Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is vast, including not only the incoming leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but generals and admirals focused on China policy, arming Ukraine, and modernizing U.S. combat forces after 20 years of war.

Data obtained and verified by The Washington Post reveals that, as of Aug. 12, 301 high-level positions were ensnared in Tuberville’s hold. That number is expected to more than double by the end of the year, officials say, unless the impasse, which stems from the Pentagon’s abortion policy, is resolved. By year’s end, The Pentagon estimates that about three-quarters of the generals and admirals in the Defense Department — 650 of 852 — will be affected by Tuberville’s hold.


These are 301 U.S. military positions

currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Deputy Commanding General, Security Assistance Group – Ukraine

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Commanding General, U.S. Marines in Japan

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Note: Air Force and Army data includes active duty, National

Guard and reserve positions. Navy data includes active

duty and reserve jobs.

These are 301 U.S. military positions

currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Deputy Commanding General, Security Assistance Group – Ukraine

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Commanding General, U.S. Marines in Japan

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Note: Air Force and Army data includes active duty, National Guard

and reserve positions. Navy data includes active duty and reserve jobs.

These are 301 U.S. military positions currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Deputy Commanding General, Security Assistance Group – Ukraine

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Commanding General, U.S. Marines in Japan

Note: Air Force and Army data includes active duty, National Guard and reserve positions.

Navy data includes active duty and reserve jobs.

These are 301 U.S. military positions currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Commanding General, U.S. Marines in Japan

Deputy Commanding General, Security Assistance Group – Ukraine

Note: Air Force and Army data includes active duty, National Guard and reserve positions. Navy data includes active duty and reserve jobs.

Each of the Defense Department’s five branches of service is affected, as is President Biden’s nominee to assume the military’s top role, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. The prospective heads of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps are all in limbo, too, along with each service’s No. 2 position. Yet those roles, all based in Washington, represent only a sliver of controversy’s global reach.

Tuberville, an Alabama Republican, implemented the hold in February to protest Austin’s response to last year’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that for nearly 50 years guaranteed a fundamental right to abortion. The policy provides paid leave and reimburses travel expenses incurred by military personnel who must leave the state where they are assigned because the procedure was banned or otherwise restricted there after the high court ended federal protections.

Those in the military, Austin has argued, do not get to choose where they serve and deserve access to reproductive care. Tuberville’s view is that federal money should not be used to cover abortion and anything connected to it.

His hold is not absolute, but it gums up the usual process in which well-qualified, noncontroversial nominees are approved by the Senate in batches. It’s possible to vote on them individually, but doing so would take months, Democrats say.

A spokesman for Tuberville, Steven Stafford, said that Republicans and Democrats alike have used holds on both civilian officials and military officers in the past.


There are 265 nominations for jobs in the U.S. currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville …

Number of pending

appointments

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

… and 36 positions stationed abroad.

There are 265 nominations for jobs in the U.S. currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville …

Number of pending

appointments

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

… and 36 positions stationed abroad.

There are 265 nominations for jobs in the U.S. currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville …

Number of pending

appointments

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

… and 36 positions stationed abroad.

There are 265 nominations for jobs in the U.S. currently blocked by Sen. Tuberville …

Number of pending

appointments

Joint Base

Pearl Harbor-

Hickam 9

… and 36 positions stationed abroad.

“The Senate has a right and duty to advise and consent to the President’s nominations and to conduct oversight over the Pentagon,” Stafford said in an email. For not bringing individual names to the Senate floor for a vote, he said, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is to blame.

Previous holds have been resolved relatively quickly, however, making this case uniquely troubling and destructive over time, said Peter Feaver, a professor who studies civil-military relations at Duke University. Feaver, a national security official during the presidential administration of George W. Bush, said the nation is now in “rare and uncharted territory” given the sweep and significance of the roles affected.


Director of the

Missile Defense Agency

Current Air Force chief

expected to become

the next chairman of

the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Six awaiting

confirmation

to four-star

positions

Commander,

Oklahoma City

Air Logistics Complex

Director of the Missile

Defense Agency

Six awaiting

confirmation

to four-star

general

positions

Commander,

439th Airlift Wing

Westover Air Reserve

Base, Mass.

Commander

of Pacific

Air Forces

Commander,

Oklahoma City

Air Logistics Complex

Current Air Force

chief expected to

become the next

chairman of the

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Air Force generals affected by the hold begin at the very top, where Brown is expected to be elevated this fall to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. David Allvin has been nominated to replace Brown at the top of the Air Force.

Other frozen nominees include Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, who is expected to be promoted to four-star general and become the next commander of Pacific Air Forces, a post central to U.S. policy toward China and North Korea; Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot, slated to be the next four-star general overseeing U.S. Northern Command, central to homeland defense; and Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, a four-star general expected to take over at Air Combat Command, which directs the service’s fleet of fighter aircraft.


Nominees for

the service’s

top two jobs

Deputy Commander,

U.S. Cyber Command

Chief of

Staff, Utah

National

Guard

Deputy

Commander

U.S. Africa

Command

Deputy Commander,

U.S. Cyber Command

Nominees

for the service’s

top two jobs

Commander, North

Atlantic Division, U.S. Army

Corps of Engineers

Chief of Staff,

Utah National

Guard

Deputy Commander,

U.S. Africa Command

Among the Army officers affected are Biden’s nominees for the service’s top two jobs: Gen. Randy George and Gen. James Mingus. Others include Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr., who is expected to be promoted and become the next deputy commander at U.S. Africa Command as it prosecutes an expansive counterterrorism mission on the continent; and Lt. Gen. Laura Potter, who is slated to take over as the director of Army Staff, coordinating work between the service and Austin’s office.


Commanding

General, I Marine

Expeditionary

Force

Nominees

for the service’s

top two jobs

Commanding General,

Marine Corps

Installations – East

(Camp Lejeune, N.C.)

Commanding

General, I Marine

Expeditionary

Force

Nominees

for the service’s

top two jobs

Commanding General,

Marine Corps Installations – East

(Camp Lejeune, N.C.)

Gen. Eric M. Smith, the Marines’ assistant commandant, has served as the service’s acting chief since early July. It’s the first time since 1910 that there has been no Senate-confirmed commandant. Smith’s would-be successor, Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney also is on hold. So is the presumed next commanding general of Marine forces in Japan, Maj. Gen. Roger Turner, another job vital to the Pentagon’s China and North Korea strategies, and the next deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations, Lt. Gen. James “Chip” Bierman.


Commander,

Fifth Fleet

(Bahrain)

Five awaiting

confirmation

to four-star

positions

Deputy

Commander,

Seventh Fleet

(Japan)

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Adm. Lisa

Franchetti will

be the first

woman on the

Joint Chiefs,

if confirmed

Commander,

Seventh

Fleet (Japan)

Superintendent,

U.S. Naval

Academy

Commander,

Fifth Fleet

(Bahrain)

Superintendent,

U.S. Naval

Academy

Deputy Commander,

Seventh Fleet (Japan)

Five awaiting

confirmation

to four-star

positions

Commander,

U.S. Pacific

Fleet

Deputy Commander,

Combined Joint Task Force,

Horn of Africa

Chief of

Naval

Operations

Chief of

Naval Air

Training

Adm. Lisa Franchetti

will be the first woman

on the Joint Chiefs,

if confirmed

Vice Chief

of Naval

Operations

Commander,

Seventh Fleet (Japan)

The Navy’s frozen nominees include Adm. Lisa Franchetti, who will make history as the first woman on the Joint Chiefs if confirmed as chief of naval operations. Others on hold include Vice Adm. James Kilby, who is expected to be promoted and replace Franchetti as vice chief of naval operations; Adm. Samuel Paparo, who is slated to become the next commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, a core joint assignment responding directly to the Chinese military; and Vice Adm. Stephen T. Koehler, tapped for promotion and to become the next four-star commander at U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Nominees

for the service’s

top two jobs

Commander, Space

Training Command

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Commander,

U.S. Space

Command

Commander, Space

Systems Command

Commander, Space

Systems Command

Vice Chief

of Space

Operations

Nominees

for the service’s

top two jobs

Commander,

U.S. Space

Command

Commander, Space

Training Command

The Pentagon’s smallest and youngest service has fewer nominees caught in the hold, but there are still several significant jobs involved. They include Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, nominated to become the next four-star commander of U.S. Space Command, and Lt. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein, tapped to be the next four-star vice chief of space operations.

Tracking Biden’s picks to fill top government jobs

Feaver, the Duke professor, said he was struck by the number of “warfighting” positions affected, notably in the Pacific. Leaving jobs like the chief of Indo-Pacific Command without a confirmed successor, he said, undermines U.S. messaging that it considers Beijing its chief competitor.

“This is a gift to China, and it’s a gift that keeps giving day in and day out,” Feaver said.

Feaver said the situation also leaves the United States on less steady footing with allies and partners. Numerous nominees are expected to cultivate strong relationships overseas. Of note: Brig. Gen. Charles D. Bolton, an Air Force officer nominated to become deputy commanding general of Security Assistance Group-Ukraine, an organization established last year in Wiesbaden, Germany, to oversee the flow of weapons to the government in Kyiv as it fights off a Russian invasion. More than a dozen other affected jobs are spread across Europe, the data shows.

Katherine L. Kuzminski, a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, noted that nearly two dozen affected nominees would have oversight of U.S. military operations in the Pacific, including posts in Hawaii, South Korea and Japan.

While the military is struggling through a major recruiting crisis, Navy nominees who would have direct oversight of accessions are directly affected, Kuzminski noted. They include Rear. Adm. Jeffrey J. Czerewko, nominated to be the commander of Naval Education and Training Command, and Navy Capt. Craig T. Mattingly, up for promotion and selected to run Naval Service Training Command.

Kevin Uhrmacher contributed to this report.



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