Obama taps Ashton Carter, who helped Israel procure F-35 jets, as next defense chief

Secretary of defense nominee Ashton Carter. Credit: Department of Defense. 


(JNS.org) U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday nominated former deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. Carter was instrumental in helping Israel procure the advanced F-35 fighter jet from the U.S.

Obama said that as defense secretary, Carter will need “to make smart choices, precisely because there are so many challenges out there,” including America’s military campaign in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State. 

Carter has degrees in medieval history and theoretical physics and has spent most of his career in and out of academia before joining the Pentagon, where he eventually rose to become deputy defense secretary until he left the position in 2013. He is widely viewed to be more hawkish than Hagel on issues like Iran’s nuclear program, having penned reports advocating the use of force to prevent Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Posted on December 5, 2014 .