CNN: Ashton Carter the Lead Defense Secretary Candidate

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

According to a report by CNN, former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the lead candidate to succeed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary and will receive the nod from President Barack Obama “barring any last minute complications.”

Jamie Crawford and Barbara Starr report that Carter appears to be open to a return to the Pentagon, where he served as the number two official between from October 2011 to December 2013, and would not face a tough confirmation process in the Senate.

Hagel announced his departure from the Pentagon shortly before Thanksgiving but will stay on as secretary until the Senate confirms his successor.

CNN cited Carter’s experience in budgets, weapons acquisition management and knowledge of warfare technology as attributes he would bring to the role as the military handles conflicts Middle East and a new role in Afghanistan as combat forces leave.

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