Ash Carter staying at Pentagon

Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense, will stay in his position, Foreign Policy’s National Security channel has learned. "Ash Carter plans to stay at the Pentagon at the President’s request," a senior administration official emails us. "He’s doing an outstanding job for Secretary Panetta and has been a friend of Senator Hagel for years. ...

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/GettyImages
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/GettyImages
SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/GettyImages

Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense, will stay in his position, Foreign Policy's National Security channel has learned.

"Ash Carter plans to stay at the Pentagon at the President's request," a senior administration official emails us. "He's doing an outstanding job for Secretary Panetta and has been a friend of Senator Hagel for years. Carter is playing a key role in the transition process in getting Hagel up to speed on Defense Department issues as he prepares for the confirmation process.  Wendy Anderson, Carter's chief of staff, has also known Hagel for a long time and is part of the transition team. For this and other reasons, Pentagon insiders see a smooth, seamless handover from Panetta and Hagel after Hagel is confirmed."

Carter was rumored to be in line for a Cabinet post, either as defense secretary or as energy secretary. As the Pentagon's former "weapons buyer," he is widely viewed as the top government official on defense spending and procurement issues. His continuance gives Obama -- and Hagel -- a resource in managing the lingering budget fight with Congress.

Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense, will stay in his position, Foreign Policy’s National Security channel has learned.

"Ash Carter plans to stay at the Pentagon at the President’s request," a senior administration official emails us. "He’s doing an outstanding job for Secretary Panetta and has been a friend of Senator Hagel for years. Carter is playing a key role in the transition process in getting Hagel up to speed on Defense Department issues as he prepares for the confirmation process.  Wendy Anderson, Carter’s chief of staff, has also known Hagel for a long time and is part of the transition team. For this and other reasons, Pentagon insiders see a smooth, seamless handover from Panetta and Hagel after Hagel is confirmed."

Carter was rumored to be in line for a Cabinet post, either as defense secretary or as energy secretary. As the Pentagon’s former "weapons buyer," he is widely viewed as the top government official on defense spending and procurement issues. His continuance gives Obama — and Hagel — a resource in managing the lingering budget fight with Congress.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said a "perfect storm" of budgetary uncertainty faced the Pentagon, due to the continuing resolution funding fiscal 2013, the sequester threat in March, and the unresolved debt ceiling crisis. Carter will be front and center with Hagel to weather that storm.

For more, see Gordon Lubold’s Friday edition of the Situation Report.

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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