President Barack Obama's expected nominee to replace Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, Ashton Carter, has staked out a reputation as nobody's yes man, Politico
As Deputy Secretary of Defense from October 2011 to December 2013, Carter — who is a nuclear physicist — did not buy into the president's plans for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
He also disagreed with Obama's decision to sign the sequestration bill which forced automatic spending cuts in the military budget, Politico reported.
He further was against cuts in the nuclear weapons program, according to Defense One
As North Korea was threatening to test an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2006, during the Bush administration, Carter co-wrote an op-ed calling for a preemptive U.S. attack on North Korea
if diplomacy failed.
He donated money to Hillary Clinton's 2007 campaign, though in 2008 he donated to both Clinton and Obama, Politico reported.
His paper trail also includes biting criticism in 1984 of President Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" missile-defense initiative, which Carter said was fanciful and had "not yet been built in the laboratory, much less in a form suitable for incorporation in a complete defense system," according to Politico.
He's also been a detractor of the Pentagon's purchasing policies. In 2010 he pushed the acquisition bureaucracy to adopt fixed-price contracts so that the Pentagon would not always have to pick up the tab on cost overruns, according to Politico.
Both Democrats and Republicans say that he is unlikely to encounter problems being confirmed in the new Republican-controlled Senate.
"He's well-respected over here," said Sen. John McCain, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Another senior Republican on the committee, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said, "If he's nominated, it should be a pretty easy confirmation," according to Politico.
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