For three years, President Biden has been just fine with the private nature of his media-shy, introverted defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III.

But in failing to inform the president that he required surgery for prostate cancer, and that he later had to return to the hospital suffering from severe complications, Mr. Austin, 70, has not only attracted more attention to himself than at any point in his long career. He has also drawn scrutiny and criticism to Mr. Biden’s national security…


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