WASHINGTON — The nomination of Ashton B. Carter to be secretary of defense is expected to sail through the Senate, but the former Harvard scholar and physicist will face powerful headwinds finding consensus on a host of security challenges — from military operations to pending budget cuts that could upend the military’s future plans.
Perhaps most urgently, Carter will have to oversee the three-month-old air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has sparked competing calls in Congress for more aggressive action and worries that the United States risks getting embroiled in another open-ended conflict in the Middle East.
A longtime Pentagon official and strategist who held senior posts in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, Carter, 60, was nominated Friday by President Obama for the post.
If confirmed as expected early next year, Carter would oversee the winding down of the US combat role in Afghanistan after 13 years, even as the Taliban appear to be growing bolder.
Read the full article at The Boston Globe.