US President Barack Obama’s official nominee for the post of Secretary of Defense was approved unanimously by a Senate panel on Tuesday.
The US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday collectively voted 25-0 to back Ashton Carter as the next Secretary of Defense, sending him a step closer to receiving a green signal from the full Senate, which is likely to meet over the issue on Wednesday.
The 26-member panel of the US Senate Armed Services voted 25-0, with one member opting to not vote.
60-year-old Carter, who has also held a former Pentagon No. 2 position as a technocrat, was nominated by the American President as the fourth defense secretary of his administration after Chuck Hagel chose to quit last year after alleging of being under pressure from the government.
Between 2011 and 2013, Carter served the post of deputy defense secretary. He also held the positions of the Defense Department’s chief weapons buyers between 2009 and 11, when he has led a crucial F-35 fighter jet program restructuring.
As several Republicans in the Senate are critical of Democratic President Obama’s defense policies, it would not be wrong to say that Carter has turned up as a lucky one as his confirmation process has gone so far very smoothly than two years ago when Hagel was facing the litmus test.
During his February 4 confirmation hearing, Carter has highlighted his top priorities after assuming the Pentagon’s No. 1 position. Among his agendas were boosting the US defense budget, ensure the quicker availability of new technologies for the troops and lower the cost on new weapons.
He also revealed his mind over providing arms to Ukraine, saying he is backing the move. Carter, however, warned that the main focus of the crisis handling efforts of the international community should be to pressurize Russia, both politically and economically.