Ashton Carter Named as New Deputy Secretary of Defense
August 2, 2011
The Obama administration named Ashton Carter as the next deputy secretary of Defense, giving an official who has already presided over hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of military-related spending cuts the power to help shape the coming era of Pentagon austerity.
Carter, a mild-mannered physicist and former Harvard professor, currently serves as the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer. National Journal reported last week that he was the front-runner to succeed William Lynn as the Defense Department's second highest-ranking official.
If confirmed for his new post, Carter will face the difficult task of mediating between the White House and congressional leaders, who are looking to slice defense spending as part of broad push to close the nation's yawning budget deficit, and the Pentagon's senior military and civilian leadership, who are anxious to protect cherished weapons programs - and the overall size of the armed forces themselves - from being placed on the chopping block.