Large military contractor board member becomes US defense secretary

The House of Representatives has backed the appointment of General Lloyd Austin to head the Pentagon, who is moving to the civil service from Raytheon Technologies

Raytheon is best known for its production of Tomahawk cruise missiles. Being one of the three largest US military contractors along with Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Raytheon gets 90% of its income from government orders. Lloyd left a seat on that company’s board of directors with up to $1.7 million worth of Raytheon stock.

Austin’s candidacy had raised doubts not only in the expert community but also among lawmakers. The misgivings were understandable, since Austin, as Secretary of State, could lobby for Raytheon. Nevertheless, the lower house of parliament backed Biden’s stalwarts.

“If appointed, I will fulfil the mission of the Ministry of Defence by avoiding war and ensuring the security of our country. I will support the principle of civilian control of the armed forces as intended”, –  Austin commented on the decision.

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