Tag Archives: Ashton Carter

Pentagon Proposes Further Expansion of Role in Iraq War

by Jason Ditz

Always on the look out to escalate their involvement in the war against ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter today told reporters that the Pentagon is planning a series of proposals for the Obama Administration to approve more activities for the thousands of US troops on the ground in Iraq.

“We’re talking about more of the things that we did in Ramadi, but we are talking about additional things of the kind that we’ve offered previously,” Carter insisted. Though that seems deliberately vague, he is known to have pushed the idea of US attack helicopters and embedded US troops in Iraqi combat units previously, and those are likely among the proposals.

The administration’s efforts to sell “no boots on the ground” to the American public, at least early in the war, has meant it has taken dozens of small deployments to get the US up to its 5,000 or so ground troops in Iraq, and myriad efforts to get them out of the bases and onto the battlefields.

Selling the White House is likely the easy task, however, as the Iraqi government has repeatedly resisted giving the US ground troops too much direct involvement in the war, and is facing strong pressure from Shi’ite militias to keep the US at arm’s length, at least as far as the ground war is involved.

Obama Nominates Ashton Carter for Defense Secretary

Carter Pushed for Attacks on North Korea

by Jason Ditz, December 05, 2014
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was finally formally nominated to replace Chuck Hagel as the head of the Defense Department today, after days of speculation.
Carter was the fallback nominee after several people reported as top choices of President Obama all publicly rejected the post. Though Senate Republicans are backing Carter as a choice, his status as the only person who would take the job is likely to undermine his authority.
Carter had been seen as a potential candidate when Hagel was selected, and left office shortly thereafter. He is seen as a fairly straightforward hawk, and in 2006 he pushed for the Bush Administration to attack North Korea over its nuclear program.

At the time, Carter even conceded that the attacks risked starting a major war on the peninsula that would lead to tens of thousands of deaths, but insisted it would “be worth it” to destroy North Korea’s nuclear plant.

Carter was also typical of the anti-Iran hawks in arguing that deterrence doesn’t work against Iran because of its “extremist ideology,” and claiming that even a civilian Iranian nuclear program would threaten the entire region, and repeatedly insisted that military action was a vital part of a “comprehensive strategy” against Iran.