• Reporting to Duty, Carter Will Face Numerous Priorities0

    Ashton Carter, who is scheduled to be sworn in as the next defense secretary Tuesday morning, will have an array of foreign crises to deal with, calling into question his ability to reach a breakthrough with Congress to loosen the statutory cap on defense spending. “One thing we know for sure about Ash Carter’s tenure as defense secretary is that it will be fleeting,” said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. “Whatever plans he may have for spurring innovation or reforming processes, the reality is that his schedule will probably be captured by bigger issues such as [the Islamic State] and Ukraine …

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  • Pentagon Gets Carter after Senate Confirmation0

    Ashton Carter is expected to assume the official duties of the defense secretary and take the oath of office in the next several days, the Pentagon reported following the Senate’s 93-5 confirmation vote Thursday. Carter, 60, will become the 25th Pentagon chief after earlier stints in the Obama administration as deputy secretary and acquisition chief. The pain-free confirmation process enjoyed by Carter was a tribute to his popularity on both sides of the aisle. Prior to the vote, John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised the candidate on the Senate floor. “He is one of America’s most experienced defense professionals, respected by Republicans and Democrats alike …

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  • Carter One Step Closer to Senate Confirmation0

    The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday voted 25-0 to endorse Ashton Carter as the next defense secretary, setting up a vote on Carter’s nomination by the full Senate as soon as Wednesday. The unanimous vote follows last week’s confirmation hearing during which Carter, who previously served during the Obama administration as deputy defense secretary and acquisition chief, sailed through his cross-examination. His nomination has universally garnered praise. Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Carter “one of America’s most respected and experienced defense professionals,” reported CQ. “I have known him, and members of the committee have known him, to be an honest, hardworking and committed public servant,” McCain said during the Feb. 4 confirmation hearing.

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  • Carter Could Gain Senate Confirmation within a Week, McCain Says0

    Ashton Carter, President Obama’s nominee to become the next defense secretary, could be confirmed by the Senate by the end of next week. On Thursday, Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he hoped the panel could vote on the nomination by next Tuesday. If, as expected, the panel reports Carter’s nomination favorably, the full Senate could take it up by Thursday, McCain said, reported the Hill. The chairman added that he doubts information requests from committee members to the Obama administration about Guantánamo Bay will postpone the votes. The fast-track timeline McCain described followed a smooth confirmation hearing for Carter the previous day.

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  • Carter Eases through Nomination Hearing0

    Ashton Carter’s nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday to be the next defense secretary was largely tension-free and may be quickly followed by a vote on his candidacy by the full Senate next week. “We will talk to the majority leader to see if we can’t get your nomination to the floor so that you can get to work,” Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at the end of the day-long hearing, reported CQ. Carter told the panel he hopes to get rid of the statutory caps on defense spending and find a way with Congress out of the “wilderness of sequester …

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  • Carter Favors an ‘Efficiency’ BRAC0

    Ashton Carter, the president’s nominee for defense secretary, said he would direct the department to carry out a base closure round that focuses on efficiency and consolidation rather than transformation if Congress authorizes a new BRAC, according to written answers he provided the Senate Armed Services Committee in advance of his confirmation hearing Wednesday. “BRAC 2005 was skewed by the fact that a large number of its recommendations were focused on transformation, had high up-front costs and were never expected to yield savings,” Carter stated. “However, those recommendations that were focused on efficiency had impressive payback and accounted for a small portion of the costs — much like the 1993 and 1995 rounds …

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