For decades, Defense Department policy wonks have sought to run the Pentagon more efficiently, especially in the acquisition of budget-busting hardware. But their efforts haven’t always been supported by colleagues from the political or military brass.
Now, Ash Carter’s return to the Pentagon would crown a cadre of leaders seen as technocrats, not politicians, even as President Barack Obama moves to put the nation on a new war footing.
A former deputy defense secretary and veteran of other key Pentagon posts, Carter would join the current deputy, Bob Work, and Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall — all at, or near, the pinnacles of their careers and all dedicated, supporters say, to taking a serious shot at serious reform.
“It’s a dream team of wonkiness, and I am thrilled,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a former state auditor who sits on the Armed Services Committee, which unanimously approved Carter’s nomination Tuesday as the next defense secretary.
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