Obama Chooses Ashton Carter for Defense Secretary

President Barack Obama picked Ashton Carter a former official at the Pentagon to be the next Secretary of Defense, said an official from the White House on Friday.

The official at the White House said Obama was going to announce that he would nominate Carter during a press conference to be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday.

The selection by Obama of Carter, who is 60 and the deputy secretary of defense between October 2011 and December 2013, was rumored but not yet confirmed until Friday by the White House.

If Carter were confirmed by the Senate, it would be the fourth chief at the Pentagon under Obama in his nearly six-year administration.

This development comes less than two weeks following the abrupt resignation of Hagel under pressure from the White House, after less than two full years at the helm of the Pentagon.

Carter is very experienced in the area of national security. Carter’s role previously was that of the chief operating officer.

Prior to serving as the deputy defense secretary, Carter had been the technology and weapons buying boss for over 2 years.

During President Bill Clinton’s administration, Carter was the assistant defense secretary for international security policy.

Prior to that, he had been director of Harvard University’s Center for International and Science Affairs.

Carter holds a bachelors degree in physics and one in medieval history at Yale University. He received a doctorate from Oxford University in theoretical physics where he had been a Rhodes Scholar.

Carter is associated closely in national security circles with a concept that he and William Perry the former Secretary of Defense championed that they referred to as preventive defense.

The premise was that following the Cold War, the U.S. could forestall new security threats through using security partnerships with Russia, China and others.

The view of Carter regarding the defense priorities of the U.S. appears to fit with the agenda of Obama including minding defense alliance better and partnerships in the Pacific and Asia.

In July of 2013 remarks at a security forum in Aspen, Carter said the U.S. was set to move beyond the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and look at the future threats harder including the ongoing cyber attacks.