Stanford's Ashton Carter nominated to be next Pentagon chief


President Barack Obama on Dec. 5 nominated Asthon Carter, a visiting scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, as the next secretary of defense, according to a Stanford news report.

Carter, who stepped down from his position at the Pentagon late last year after serving two years as the deputy secretary of defense, will succeed Chuck Hagel, who announced his resignation on Nov. 24.

"Ash is rightly regarded as one of our nation's foremost national security leaders," Obama said at a ceremony at the White House. "As a top member of our Pentagon team for the first five years of my presidency, including his two years as deputy secretary, he was at the table in the Situation Room; he was by my side navigating complex security challenges that we were confronting. I relied on his expertise, and I relied on his judgment."

As deputy secretary of defense (the Pentagon's No. 2 job), Carter oversaw a $600 billion budget and 2.4 million uniformed and civilian personnel. From 2009 to 2011, he was the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"I accept the offer because of the deep respect and admiration that Stephanie and I have for the men and women in uniform," Carter said, referring to his wife, Stephanie Carter. "If confirmed for this job, I pledge to you my most candid, strategic advice."

Carter, who has a PhD in theoretical physics, joined Stanford earlier this year as the Payne Distinguished Visitor to the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI). He is responsible for delivering lectures, including the annual Drell Lecture sponsored by FSI's Center for International Security and Cooperation. Carter is also a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.

"We congratulate Ash on his critical new assignment," FSI Director Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar said in the news report. "The Institute has benefited enormously from his experience as a scholar and public servant, his accessibility and his engagement at Stanford. We're grateful for his contributions to our research and teaching on international security and other global challenges."


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

Chuck Hagel seemed like a candidate for SecDef that was doomed to failure. The role of SecDef is almost as political as it is as overall budget, policy and strategy management. Hagel just didn’t have the “juice” for all of these roles, and his boss didn’t do the military, or the nation, of proposing him for the job.

Carter seems like a better fit, if he can put up with a boss that hates the military, and does not want the US to be the primary military power on earth.

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Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Joe: "Carter seems like a better fit, if he can put up with a boss that hates the military, and does not want the US to be the primary military power on earth."

This is what happens when someone actually believes what is put out on Fox "News" and wingnut AM talk radio programs.

2 people like this
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Wow, I first read that as Ashton Kutcher! What a relief it isn't. I think it's a relief?

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Posted by OldAlum
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 10, 2014 at 6:01 pm

The right man for our President. A theoretical physicist. Good Grief. How much worse can it get.

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Posted by Dennis
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I understand Jim Parsons was POTUS's first choice. Parson's schedule precluded his acceptance.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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