President Obama is expected to push for the former Pentagon official Ashton Carter, to replace Chuck Hagel.
According to a report by Reuters, Ashton Carter has emerged as the front runner for the job of U.S. defense secretary, following the resignation of Chuck Hagel.
Ashton Carter is already well versed in all things defense after working as a former deputy secretary at the Department of Defense. However, while his knowledge of the subject may be extensive he will still have to work to break into the tightknit circle at the White House.
Currently the United States has many international issues of defense to deal with including dealings with Russia over various points, the need for action against the growing threat of Islamic State and the return of involvement in the US within Afghanistan.
According to Reuters a variety of sources inside and outside the administration said Carter was the front-runner and was expected to be the nominee. One person familiar with the situation said his nomination was “almost certain.”
The announcement of who will replace Chuck Hagel in the position of US defense secretary is expected to be made in the coming days but there is as yet no comment about the position from either the Pentagon or the White House.
Chuck Hagel resigned last week after serving less than two years in his position and his replacement will be the fourth under President Obama.
According to Reuters, Hagel had privately expressed frustration with his inability to influence major questions of U.S. security strategy, including the fight against Islamic State. His relationship with Obama’s inner circle at the White House was strained.
If Ashton Carter is not to get the job then it is expected that it was previously expected that it would go to Michele Flournoy, however she withdrew from consideration last week which could mean that Carter gets the position by default thanks to the lack of competition for the role.
Administration sources said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson had been a candidate but was no longer in the mix. Former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and Kurt Campbell, a former assistant secretary of state, had also been seen as contenders, said Reuters.
Ashton Carter has a bachelor’s degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar, according to the Pentagon website.