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Ashton B. Carter

Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

Former Chair of International & Global Affairs faculty, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (1993–1996), U.S. Department of Defense

Member of the Board (on leave), Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs

Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (April 2009–October 2011)

Former Deputy Secretary of Defense (October 2011 - December 2013)

 

Experience

Dr. Ashton B. Carter is former director of the Belfer Center's Preventive Defense Project and former director of what is now the Belfer Center. He is on leave.

In 2015, Ashton Carter was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as Secretary of Defense of the United States.

 

 

By Date

 

2015

Wikipedia Commons

October 20, 2015

"The U.S. Military Needs Budget Certainty in Uncertain Times"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

For the seventh year in a row, Congress has failed to pass a defense appropriations bill in time to start the fiscal year. And for the past four years, the Defense Department and other federal agencies have been struggling with the impact of sequestration, which imposed cuts that were never meant to be implemented, but were supposed to prod both parties to come together and reach a budget agreement. The Defense Department has done its best to manage through this prolonged period of budget uncertainty, making painful choices and trade-offs among the size, capabilities and readiness of the joint force.

The nation cannot allow this to become the new normal.

 

 

(DoD Photo)

September 4, 2015

"Iran Deal Features Defense Backstop"

Op-Ed, USA Today

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

Nineteen years ago, I was in Ukraine when the last nuclear warheads, orphaned during the Soviet Union’s breakup, rolled out of the country. As an assistant secretary of Defense at the time, I had worked with Washington colleagues and foreign counterparts to eliminate those nuclear weapons and thus one danger at the dawn of the post-Cold War world. Together — with bipartisan support in Congress led by Sens. Sam Nunn, a Democrat, and Richard Lugar, a Republican — we succeeded.

Today, the Iran deal provides the opportunity to address an even greater nuclear threat. Congress should support it because, once implemented, the deal will remove a critical source of risk and uncertainty in a vitally important but tumultuous region.

 

2013

April 23, 2013

Ashton Carter at JFK Jr. Forum: Turning a Strategic Corner

News

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter joined moderator Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, on April 23, 2013, at a John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum for a discussion on the strategic and budgetary transitions currently underway in the Department of Defense.  Topics addressed included the importance of protecting investments in the future of U.S. national security and the current rebalance to the Pacific. Questions from the audience addressed subjects ranging from potential furloughs due to budget cuts to the thirtieth anniversary of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

View the entire JFK Jr. event here on the Institute of Politics website.

Attached is the transcript of Carter's remarks, as prepared for delivery.

 

2010

AP Photo

September 21, 2010

"The Pentagon Is Serious About Saving Money"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has tasked me with improving the Pentagon's buying power. We have set out to save you at least $100 billion over five years in our purchasing of goods and services, which accounts for $400 billion of the $700 billion in annual defense spending. (The rest is spent primarily on salaries and facilities.) The Pentagon can meet its goal only if we fundamentally change the way we do business.

 

 

AP Photo

June 17, 2010

"The Way Forward on Missile Defense"

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

"Iran's continued pursuit of an illicit nuclear program and North Korea's rash intimidation after sinking a South Korean navy ship are but the most recent reminders of the real need for effective U.S. missile defenses," write Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter.

 

2009

February 26, 2009

Harvard Kennedy School’s Ashton Carter Nominated as Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

Press Release

By Beth Maclin, Former Communications Assistant, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has nominated Dr. Ashton B. Carter to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

 

 

January 2009

Defense Management Challenges for the Next American President

Journal Article, Orbis, issue 1, volume 53

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

PDP Co-Director Dr. Ashton B. Carter explores the daunting list of national security challenges facing the next American president.

 

2008

September 19, 2008

Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development

Report

By Ambassador Daniel Coats, Charles Robb, Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Admiral (ret.) Gregory G. Johnson, General (ret.) Ronald Keys, Dr. Edward Morse, Steve Rademaker, Dennis Ross, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Henry Sokolski, General (ret.) Chuck Wald and Ken Weinstein

A Task Force sponsored by the National Security Initiative, a program of the Bipartisan Policy Center, released a ground-breaking report identifying the regional and global threats posed by a nuclear weapons-capable Iran and recommending a new, robust and comprehensive strategy designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

 

 

August 14, 2008

"Strengthening our Strategy Against WMD"

Op-Ed, Boston Globe

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities and The Honorable Robert G. Joseph

Dr. Ashton B. Carter and Ambassador Robert G. Joseph discuss recommendations stemming from recommendations in final report of the review they co-chaired of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and other DOD efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction.

 

 

August 5, 2008

Defense Strategy & Budget in the Post-Bush Era

Paper

By Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities

A key challenge for the next administration's national security leadership concerns the management of investment in the U.S. national security future. In this paper for the Aspen Strategy Group, Dr. Ashton Carter discusses the challenges of defense budgeting and program selection, and the current mismatch between resources and strategy.

 
Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.