Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is a retired United States Army four-star general serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. He is the first African American to serve as the United States secretary of defense. Austin previously served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2013 to 2016.
- If confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity.
- We expect public servants to be guided in their actions by a strong moral compass
... We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies.
... I am directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels to select a date within the next 60 days to conduct a one-day "stand-down" on this issue with their personnel
... such discussions should include the importance of our oath of office; a description of impermissible behaviors; and procedures for reporting suspected, or actual, extremist behaviors
- I won’t give you a yes-or-no answer on that, Senator
- We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed (U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement Friday)
- Quoted in: Pentagon Blasted for 'Unacceptable Failure' to Reckon With Civilian Casualties, Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams, December 2, 2021
- We want to see Ukraine remain a sovereign country, a democratic country able to protect its sovereign territory. We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.
So it has already lost a lot of military capability, and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability. We want to see the international community more united, especially NATO, and we’re seeing that, and that’s based upon the hard work of, number one, President Biden, but also our Allies and partners who have willingly leaned into this with us as we’ve imposed sanctions and as we’ve moved very rapidly to demonstrate that we’re going to defend every inch of NATO.
Remarks on Russo-Ukrainian War (20 January 2023)
- Some 50 countries have stepped up to help Ukraine defend itself and deter future threats.
When Putin launched his reckless and unprovoked invasion 11 months ago, he thought that Ukraine would just collapse. And he thought that the world would just look away. But Putin didn't count on the courage of the Ukrainian people. And he didn't count on the skill of the Ukrainian military. And he didn't count on you — on everyone on-screen and around this table.
But we need to keep up our momentum and resolve. And we need to dig even deeper.
This is a decisive moment for Ukraine, in a decisive decade for the world.
So make no mistake. We will support Ukraine's self-defense for as long as it takes.
Now, we know that Russia remains bent on aggression and conquest. And Russian forces have increased their horrific attacks, killing many innocent Ukrainians.
- Ladies and gentlemen, this is a crucial moment.
Russia is regrouping, recruiting, and trying to re-equip.
This is not a moment to slow down. It's a time to dig deeper.
The Ukrainian people are watching us. The Kremlin is watching us. And history is watching us.
So we won't let up.
And we won't waver in our determination to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia's imperial aggression.
Quotes about Austin
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- That joke of a Secretary of Defense is nothing more than a woke Communist. He needs to go.
- Days after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a new investigation into a clandestine airstrike that killed scores of Syrian noncombatants whose deaths were subsequently covered up, 24 advocacy groups on Wednesday published an open letter calling on the Pentagon to "reckon with U.S.-caused civilian casualties and commit to urgent reforms." The letter, addressed to Austin, expresses "grave concerns" about the Pentagon's "civilian harm policies and practices and their impact," citing an August 29 drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians including an aid worker and seven children, as well as a March 18, 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria in which around 70 civilians died and was "flagged as a possible war crime by at least one Defense Department lawyer... These strikes, and the Defense Department's record of civilian harm over the past 20 years, illustrate an unacceptable failure to prioritize civilian protection in the use of lethal force; meaningfully investigate, acknowledge, and provide amends when harm occurs; and provide accountability in the event of wrongdoing," the signers continue.