Pentagon insider gets nod for deputy defense secretary
Published: August 2, 2011
WASHINGTON – Chief Pentagon weapons buyer Ashton Carter is the White House’s pick for No. 2 civilian at the Defense Department. If the nomination announced Tuesday is confirmed by the Senate, Carter would step into the position now filled by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, who said last month he was stepping down.
Carter has served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics for just over two years, and prior to that worked a variety of intelligence, counterterrorism and defense policy positions under the last several administrations. As defense undersecretary, Carter has played a key role in budget-trimming initiatives instituted by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Carter penned a 2010 Wall Street Journal piece in which he wrote:
“Our challenge is to sustain a military at war, take care of our troops and their families, and invest in new capabilities – all in an era when defense budgets will not be growing constantly as they were in the years following 9/11. Last year, we identified savings in the defense budget by cancelling unnecessary programs. Now we must find savings within programs and activities we do not need. The department must achieve what economists call productivity growth: Learning to do more with less.”
Now Carter’s and the Pentagon’s fiscal acumen may be tested further as a new round of budget cuts, far deeper than anything envisioned by Gates, seems increasingly likely.