Friday, December 17, 2021

Senate Confirms Biden's Joint Chiefs Pick

Adm. Christopher Grady, most recently led the Navy's Fleet Forces Command, which is tasked with ensuring the Fleet is Manned, Trained, and Equipped before Deploying.

The Senate on Thursday, Confirmed President Biden’s Pick to be the Military’s Second-Ranking Officer, filling a nearly Month long Vacancy on the Joint Chiefs. The No. 2 Joint Chiefs Post has been Vacant, since Air Force Gen. John Hyten Retired last month.

Navy Adm. Christopher Grady, was Confirmed as Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs, by Voice Vote as, Senators pushed to wrap up Business before leaving for the Holidays.

He is Biden’s First Nominee to the Joint Chiefs, and was Approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Tuesday.

The White House Nominated Grady in early November, just weeks before Hyten’s Departure. The timing made a Vacancy in the Post almost inevitable, even though Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed (D-R), sought to quickly Confirm Hyten’s Successor and Minimize a potential Gap.

Biden’s Delay in naming a Vice Chair had some Lawmakers, On-Edge in recent months. Senate Republicans criticized the Holdup, arguing that the likely Vacancy on the Joint Chiefs was an Unforced Error, by the White House, at a time of rising Global Threats.

Grady’s Confirmation comes amid concerns that Russia’s Military Buildup on the Ukrainian Border could mean another Incursion by Moscow in the coming weeks or months.

It also comes amid concerns about China’s Military Modernization and a possible Invasion of Taiwan.

Grady also arrives as the Pentagon looks to Modernize and Retool the Military, to Compete with China and Russia, after Two Decades of War in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

The Pentagon is Writing a New National Defense Strategy and a Nuclear Posture Review while also working to Overhaul each Leg of the Nuclear Arsenal.

Among other Duties, the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Heads-Up the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which Monitors the Development of Military Acquisition Programs.

In a confirmation hearing last week, Grady backed the wholesale refurbishing of the nuclear arsenal to deter Russia and China, calling out China’s rapid expansion of its nuclear capabilities.

He also Signaled that Larger Defense Budgets were needed to Meet those Emerging Threats. Grady Conceded in an Exchange with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), that Flat Defense Budgets, such as the Blueprint offered by Biden, would make it More Difficult for the Military to meet its Goals. “I think that stable and predictable and adequate funding is important and that it needs to keep pace with the threat and inflation,” Grady told Senators after Sidestepping Several Questions about potential Defense Cuts.

Though he received Bipartisan Support, Grady’s Confirmation wasn’t without some Turbulence. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) placed a Procedural Hold on Grady’s Nomination, but relented on Thursday, after receiving Assurances from the Admiral on, among other issues: Consideration of Religious Exemptions for the the Pentagon’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate, and the Military’s doing Less in Lower-Priority Regions, in order to Focus Resources on deterring China.

Grady handed over Leadership of Fleet Forces Command to, Adm. Daryl Caudle in a Dec. 7 Change-of-Command Ceremony. Caudle, who was Commander of Submarine Force Atlantic, was Confirmed as Grady’s Replacement in July, months before his Nomination to the Joint Chiefs.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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