What Biden’s Top Defense Secretary Candidate Has to Say About Israel – and Iran Nuclear Deal

Michèle Flournoy has spoken out on everything from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Iran and Syria during her decades in Washington

Allison Kaplan Sommer
Allison Kaplan Sommer
Allison Kaplan Sommer
Allison Kaplan Sommer

A short list exists for most of President-elect Joe Biden’s potential cabinet picks. But the list for the top spot at the Pentagon is shorter than the rest: In nearly every discussion, just one name appears over and over again.

If all goes as expected, respected national security expert and veteran Defense Department hand Michèle Flournoy will be the first woman to serve as secretary of defense. Her name was floated for the job as far back as 2012, at the beginning of President Barack Obama’s second term. She was suggested by pro-Israel advocates as a more hawkish alternative when another prospective nominee, Chuck Hagel, came under fire by those who said he was insufficiently supportive of the Jewish state. Hagel ultimately overcame the opposition and got the job.

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