Multiple news outlets are now reporting that Pres. Obama has selected Ash Carter to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel:
Here’s CNN on Carter’s background:
Carter is a well-decorated national security official who also is a former deputy defense secretary. The Philadelphia native has on several occasions been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal — the department’s highest honor — and has received multiple medals for his contributions to intelligence.
Eli Lake and Josh Rogin profiled Carter earlier this week for Bloomberg View. An excerpt:
But Carter also has a hawkish side. He has been a public advocate for modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a step opposed by the more dovish side of the arms-control community. When Carter was an academic, before the Obama presidency, he took a hard line on Iran, arguing that the U.S. should use diplomacy and other kinds of coercion to end the country’s enrichment of nuclear fuel. He even advocated for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s missiles. During his tenure as deputy secretary of defense, from 2011 to 2013, he was one of the strongest opponents in government of the mandatory defense budget cuts known as sequestration.
Senator John McCain, the next chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told us that he and Carter had similar views on a number of issues. “Working together, if you are not having to fight the pentagon, if you’ve got the leader actively working towards the same goal, that’s immensely helpful,” McCain said of Carter.
And this is good news:
At least nobody has to give Carter the Dept. of Defense “instruction manual” before he starts.