MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, October 1st 2023 - 06:24 UTC



Obama makes official nomination of Ashton Carter as Pentagon chief

Saturday, December 6th 2014 - 04:36 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Carter's views have not always meshed perfectly with the Obama administration, for example regarding Iraq Carter's views have not always meshed perfectly with the Obama administration, for example regarding Iraq

President Barack Obama on Friday named Ashton Carter, a highly regarded technocrat, to lead the Pentagon as the US military embarks on the latest phase in its 13-year war against Islamic extremists.

 Obama praised the 60-year-old Carter, saying that as US defense secretary he would bring to the job “a unique blend of strategic perspective and technical know-how.”

“All of which means on day one, he will hit the ground running,” Obama said, making the announcement from the White House.

Carter, who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate, was named to replace Chuck Hagel, who resigned under pressure last week, criticized by some as too passive in the face of a rapidly changing security situation.

The US military that Carter is expected to inherit finds itself in an air war against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, a sharp reversal of course for an administration that had sought to bring home troops after 13 years of fighting.

He must also oversee the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, as well as challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program and China's growing military might.

Carter said he had accepted Obama's offer “because of the seriousness of the strategic challenges we face -- but also the bright opportunities that exist for America if we can come together to grab hold of them.”

Hagel called Carter after the announcement and promised a smooth transition. In a statement issued as he embarked on his last foreign trip as secretary, he said he strongly supported Carter's nomination.

Carter with degrees in Medieval history and theoretical physics, has gained a reputation as an expert on hi-tech weapons and military budgets, portraying himself as a reformer intent on making the vast Pentagon bureaucracy more efficient.

He served as deputy secretary of defense from 2011 to 2013 under former defense secretary Leon Panetta, and in other top Pentagon posts over the years. However in recent years, Carter's views have not always meshed perfectly with the Obama administration.

On Iraq for example, he favored keeping US troops in the country instead of withdrawing forces in 2011, and he has repeatedly warned of the dangers of scaling back defense spending.

Republicans said they would likely confirm Carter, but promised tough questions about the administration's strategy against Islamic State, the extremist group in control of parts of Syria and Iraq.

Categories: Politics, United States.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • CabezaDura2

    What the stupid public westerners dont seem to understand is that ISIS is raging a propaganda war aimed at provoking the US to reinvade Irak by beheadings, executions of aid workers and pretty sophisticated war Hollywood trailers!

    The US has to just walk out of engaging with the Islamic State and by doing so they will oblidge the regional powers Turkey-Iran and the KSA to reach a common ground and act.

    You dont need a new Pentagon Chief to do that.

    One option would be that Iran accepts losing its man in Damascus while reinforcing its grip on shia Irak, Turkey accepts the independence of the new Kurdistan which should be given historic lands of the Syrian & Turkish borders. The new Kurdistan can act as a buffer between Turkey and Iran.

    Dec 06th, 2014 - 12:42 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    Research indicates that the country you refer to has NEVER been called 'Irak'. This indicates the level of your education and intelligence. Even Iraq refers to itself as “Irāq” or “Êraq”. Go away until you have a recognised educational qualification.

    Dec 06th, 2014 - 04:57 pm 0
  • CabezaDura2

    “ Irak” is spanish for “Iraq” I get them mixed up as I have used “Iraq” in spanish speaking forums...Otherwise I speak two languages. How many do you???

    Dec 06th, 2014 - 05:01 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!