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December 5, 2014 4:19 pm

Obama Taps Ashton Carter, Who Helped Israel Procure F-35 Jets, as Next Defense Chief

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Secretary of defense nominee Ashton Carter. Photo: Department of Defense.

JNS.orgU.S. President Barack Obama has nominated former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, who has strong pro-Israel credentials, as the next defense secretary at a ceremony in the White House on Friday.

Obama said that as defense secretary Carter, 60, will need “to make smart choices, precisely because there are so many challenges out there,” in reference to America’s new military campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State, as well as the myriad of new threats, including Russian intervention in the Ukraine and China’s assertiveness in east Asia.

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Described as a “policy wonk,” Carter has diverse degrees in medieval history and theoretical physics, and has spent most of his career in and out of academia before joining the Pentagon where he eventually rose to become deputy secretary of defense until he left the position in 2013, the New York Times reported.

Carter replaces outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who resigned last month. During Hagel’s confirmation in 2013, he received tough questions from Republicans over his stance on Iran’s nuclear program as well as his views on Israel due to past controversial statements on his part.

However, Carter is widely viewed to be more hawkish than Hagel on issues like Iran’s nuclear program. He has penned reports on advocating the use and threat of force to prevent Iranian nukes, and has a strong record of working closely with Israel. He made his first official visit to Israel in 2013 as deputy defense secretary, where he worked closely with his Israeli defense counterparts and was instrumental in helping Israel procure the advanced next generation F-35 fighter jet.

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  • dave from edmonton

    if israel — long may it exist within its rightful borders as detered by international law — wants the rest of the world on board with its irrational fear and hatred of iran then it needs to come up with a new tack to convince the pesky goy iran is a problem. I mean, they can’t misquote ahmadinejad’s requote of the ayatollah vowing to “erase the israeli regime from the pages of history” as “wipe israel from the face of the map” for propaganda anymore now that rouhani is president.

  • Tess

    Another empty suit with no clout or power with this WH

  • kRIS kRISTIAN

    This gentleman will be like a breath of fresh air for Israel.

    Israel needs as many friends as she can get.
    And Carter seems just that man.

    The problem will still be” what weapons will USA supply Egypt, Jordan etc.

    • Jeff

      Neither Egypt nor Jordan have the slightest inclination to confront Israel. Egypt recovered the conquered Sinai from Israel in return for a peace treaty , not to mention the 1.5 billion dollars of annual aid which Egypt receives from the US which is rarely mentioned in the media, and Jordan appears to be receiving over 1 billion dollars this year . Israel had developed close albeit unofficial cooperation on defence issues with Egypt particularly in confronting Sunni/Jihadi fundamentalists,Hamas, and Shiite influence via Iran and its Hezbollah proxy.
      President Sisi seems to be the most pragmatic Egyptian president since President Sadat.Israel understandably has a strategic alliance with Jordan in the event of Jordan being attacked. The threat is and remains Iran.Period.

  • tomm

    Israel has not yet received F35.

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