All signs are pointing to Ashton Carter, former deputy Secretary of Defense and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Defense, replacing outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
According to CNN, Obama administration officials have stated that Carter is the president’s pick to replace Hagel. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was also a potential pick for the job, but reportedly is no longer being considered. Carter’s experience at the Pentagon is said to be a major contributor to what made him an ideal candidate for the position, along with his reputation amongst senior military leaders. Carter, CNN reports, is “seen as a master of managing large budgets, a premium in the present era of continued belt tightening on Capitol Hill, as well as an expert on weapons acquisitions.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a defense industry analyst at the Brookings Institution told CNN that he believes Carter is a logical choice for the position.
“His career has sort of prepared him perfectly for this kind of a moment,” O’Hanlon said. “On paper and in terms of his resume and preparation you probably couldn't do much better.”
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While Carter’s lack of actual military experience should be considered in the ultimate decision - many of his predecessors including Hagel and Leon Panetta have a first-hand military background – O’Hanlon doesn’t believe that it ultimately impacts his ability to do the job.
“You can always find things that you would have loved in a hundred year life span to have seen everyone do before they take this job, but realistically he has accomplished about as much as you could ask.”
Carter was a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and has served under Hagel and his predecessor Panetta.
Source: CNN / Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org