News Release

Should Michèle Flournoy Be Defense Secretary?


A leading contender to be nominated by Joe Biden for Defense Secretary, Michèle Flournoy is facing opposition for her hawkish record and financial entanglements with the weapons industry.

As a Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Winograd wrote “Open Letter to Biden: Hire New Foreign Policy Advisors,” which was signed by more than 450 delegates.

Winograd said this week: “Progressives may be tempted to trade truth for access to the powerful and privileged, thinking they can influence the course of events if they bite their tongue when Flournoy talks of fighting and prevailing in a war with China. But this sort of thinking is misguided. The power progressives hold must be wielded now before it’s too late, before Flournoy is crowned and the U.S. slips further into decline, mired in a high-stakes high-tech arms race — or worse, another endless war, this one with a nuclear-armed nation of over 1.3 billion people.”

The quote from Winograd appeared in the article “Some Liberals and Arms-Control Experts Are Cheering for War Profiteers to Be in Biden’s Cabinet,” written by Institute for Public Accuracy executive director Norman Solomon.

On Monday, five progressive organizations — CodePink, Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America, and World Beyond War — released a statement opposing Flournoy as Defense Secretary. “The people of the United States need a Secretary of Defense who is untethered to the weapons industry and committed to ending the arms race,” the statement said. “Michèle Flournoy should not be put in charge of the Pentagon, and neither should anyone else failing to meet those qualifications. We are opposed to her being nominated, and we are prepared to launch a major nationwide grassroots campaign so that every senator will hear from large numbers of constituents demanding that she not be confirmed.”

Two weeks ago, the Project On Government Oversight issued an in-depth report, “Should Michèle Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense?