Pentagon’s prime coverage official to step down in July

Pentagon’s prime coverage official to step down in July

Prime Pentagon coverage official Colin Kahl is about to depart his function in mid-July after two years within the constructing, the Protection Division confirmed Wednesday.

Kahl, who in 2021 was narrowly confirmed by the Senate after Republican members banded collectively to attempt to oppose him, will return to his former function as tenured professor at Stanford College, an official accustomed to his plans advised The Hill.

Below an settlement with Stanford, Kahl took a two-year go away of absence whereas he served as the Division of Protection’s (DOD) undersecretary for coverage. That go away was set to be up in April, however Kahl prolonged it till summer season to assist Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin and President Biden within the run-up to the NATO leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, the official mentioned.

NBC News first reported on Kahl’s impending departure, with Deputy Undersecretary for Coverage Sasha Baker to take over the function in an performing capability.

“Since his appointment, Dr. Kahl has been a trusted adviser and a resolute chief in our mission to safeguard American pursuits, each contained in the Pentagon and throughout the interagency,” Austin mentioned in a press release asserting Kahl’s departure.

“His strategic insights, deep understanding of worldwide relations, and staunch dedication to strengthening our nationwide protection have been essential in shaping our insurance policies, seizing geopolitical alternatives, and tackling a variety of challenges around the globe,” he added.

Whereas the Pentagon’s prime policymaker, Kahl has performed a key half in shaping DOD’s Nationwide Protection Technique and synchronizing billions of {dollars} in army assist delivered to Ukraine.

However he has confronted harsh criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), on Wednesday tweeting that the official’s departure was “a great day for America.”

Two years in the past, throughout Kahl’s affirmation course of, Republicans unified towards him over tweets lambasting Trump administration officers and insurance policies, in addition to his assist for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

On the time, Kahl apologized for the “disrespectful” language in his tweets, pledging to strategy the Pentagon job in a nonpartisan method.

The Senate ultimately confirmed Kahl in a slender 49-45 vote in April 2021, with no Republicans within the chamber voting for him.

Previous to serving because the Pentagon’s No. 3 official, Kahl was nationwide safety adviser to then-Vice President Biden from October 2014 to January 2017. He additionally served because the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for the Center East from 2009 to 2011 beneath the Obama administration.

“I’ve personally valued Colin’s management and counsel, and I’ve been regularly impressed by his seriousness of function, his dedication to America’s nationwide safety, and his reverence for public service,” Austin mentioned. “Our Division is stronger and higher ready for future safety challenges due to Colin’s distinguished service.”

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