After weeks of internal maneuvering to find new leadership for the Pentagon, President Obama on Friday announced his selection of a new defense secretary by nominating Ashton B. Carter, an Ivy League academic and national security insider whom he had passed over for the job the last time it was open.

If confirmed by the Senate, Carter, 60, would replace Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska senator and Vietnam combat veteran who had lost the confidence of the White House and struggled to leave a distinctive mark at the Pentagon during his two years in office.

The change in leadership can be seen as a tacit admission by Obama that he made the wrong choice when he bypassed Carter, then the deputy defense secretary, and instead picked Hagel, his former Senate colleague. Carter stayed on at the Pentagon to serve under Hagel, but it was an awkward partnership. He resigned almost exactly a year ago without giving a specific reason. [Read more]

 

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