Ash Carter once wanted to bomb North Korea, but a look at the former history student’s record suggests he’d be far more cautious about Iran and the Islamic State if he took the helm at the Pentagon.
The administration fired Chuck Hagel without having a replacement lined up, but Obama seems to have found the man he wants to run the Pentagon at a time of war abroad and infighting at home.
Chuck Hagel was always being upstaged by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The next secretary of defense will have to change that equation.
Firing Hagel was the easy part. Finding a new Pentagon chief capable of dealing with the Islamic State, a micromanaging White House, and angry Republicans will be far harder.