12 February 2015

Ashton Carter Wins Senate Approval as Defense Secretary

Great news–Dr. Ashton B. Carter was just confirmed as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense. He brings top-level experience and intellectual firepower. With Carter as Secretary of Defense and Bob Work as Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon is under very strong leadership in a challenging time.

Emmarie Huetteman, “Ashton Carter Wins Senate Approval as Defense Secretary,” New York Times, 12 February 2015.

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ashton B. Carter to be the next defense secretary, installing a new Pentagon chief as the United States increases military action against the Islamic State.

Mr. Carter, a former deputy defense secretary who is President Obama’s choice to replace Chuck Hagel, was approved by a vote of 93 to 5.

The transition to a new Pentagon chief comes as Congress considers a number of pressing defense issues….

Mr. Carter’s nomination was approved unanimously by the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Top Republicans, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, the committee chairman, have expressed admiration for him. …

Helene Cooper, David E. Sanger and Mark Landler, “In Ashton Carter, Nominee for Defense Secretary, a Change in Direction,” New York Times, 5 December 2014.

WASHINGTON — Ashton B. Carter, the physicist nominated by President Obama on Friday to lead the Pentagon, is in the mold of past cabinet secretaries who have tangled with the White House and may advocate a stronger use of American power overseas.

Assertive and intellectual, Mr. Carter, 60, is in many ways the flip side of Chuck Hagel, the current defense secretary, who was seen as passive and who submitted his resignation under pressure last week. …

…managing his relationship with Ms. Rice may well be the toughest part of Mr. Carter’s new job. Unlike Mr. Hagel, a former Nebraska senator, Mr. Carter comes to the job with a deep knowledge of a department with a $600 billion annual budget and more than two million uniformed and civilian employees. He worked in the Pentagon in the Clinton administration, returned as the chief weapons buyer under Mr. Gates and then rose to deputy defense secretary, the No. 2 position. He would face virtually no learning curve.