• Senate Postpones Hearing on Carter Nomination0

    The Senate Armed Services Committee is delaying Ashton B. Carter’s confirmation hearing to be the next defense secretary to allow him time to recover from long-planned back surgery, incoming Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday. The hearing likely will be pushed back until early February, reported CQ. “We were ready to go immediately, but Ash Carter had to have an operation,” McCain said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he will stay at the Pentagon until his replacement is confirmed …

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  • Confirmation Process Should Not Be Difficult for Carter0

    Praising Ashton Carter for knowing the Pentagon “inside and out,” President Obama on Friday officially tapped the technocrat and recent deputy defense secretary to be the next civilian leader of the Defense Department. “On day one, he’s going to hit the ground running,” Obama said at the White House. The president called Carter “one of our nation’s foremost national security leaders” who has the strategic and technical background to be his fourth defense secretary. “He’s a reformer who’s never been afraid to cancel old or inefficient weapons programs …

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  • DOD Likely to Continue Pursuit of BRAC under Carter0

    Ashton Carter, who administration officials said Tuesday will be nominated shortly by President Obama to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, likely will continue the Pentagon’s recent requests for a new BRAC round as one of a series of reforms needed to accommodate stringent spending caps. Closing excess bases needs to be a component of DOD’s effort to find efficiencies that spare military capabilities, Carter argued during several speeches he made as deputy defense secretary, a position the 60-year-old physicist held from October 2011 until December 2013 …

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  • Top Candidate for Pentagon Post Drops Out; Johnson Added to the Mix0

    Michèle Flournoy, one of the frontrunners to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, removed herself from contention last week, while at least one other candidate has emerged. Flournoy was undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012 and now is CEO for the Center for a New American Security. She had been considered for the job two years ago before President Obama opted for Hagel. Flournoy is the second top-flight candidate to drop out of the running following last Monday’s announcement that President Obama had accepted Hagel’s resignation. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who is in line to become ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also said he wasn’t interested in taking the helm at the Pentagon …

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  • Hagel Remains Focused on Pressing Challenges, DOD Official Says0

    Despite tendering his resignation after losing the confidence of the president, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will continue to press ahead with the department’s most critical priorities until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters last week. “We’ve got huge budget uncertainty that we’re facing. And one of the things that he’ll be working on over the holiday break is work that FY ’16, fiscal year ’16 budget submission. There’s a lot of work to do …

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  • List of Candidates to Replace Hagel Includes Familiar Names0

    Following Monday’s surprise announcement that President Obama had accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after less than two years in his post, a number of candidates to succeed Hagel have emerged. The top tier of possible replacements includes three people with extensive experience at the highest echelons of the Pentagon — Michèle Flournoy, Ashton Carter and Robert Work. Flournoy, CEO of the Center for a New American Security, and Carter, former deputy defense secretary, both were on previous short lists to replace former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta …

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