WASHINGTON -- Ash Carter, a former deputy defense secretary who today received a 93-5 affirmative vote by the U.S. Senate to succeed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, received a welcome back and praise from President Barack Obama.
"Ash Carter served as a key leader of our national security team in the first years of my presidency, and with his overwhelming bipartisan confirmation by the Senate today, I'm proud to welcome him back as our next secretary of defense," Obama said in a White House statement issued today. "With his decades of experience, Ash will help keep our military strong as we continue the fight against terrorist networks, modernize our alliances, and invest in new capabilities to keep our armed forces prepared for long-term threats."
As secretary of defense, the president continued, "Ash will play a central role in our work with Congress to find a more responsible approach to defense spending that makes the department more efficient, preserves military readiness, and keeps faith with our men and women in uniform and their families.
"We have the strongest military in the history of the world," Obama added, "and with Secretary Carter at the Pentagon and our troops serving bravely around the world, we're going to keep it that way."
Hagel will remain in office as defense secretary until Carter is sworn in.