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Ashton Carter likely next Pentagon chief

Ashton Carter, seen here during a 2013 visit to Seoul, has gained a reputation as an expert on hi-tech weapons and military budgetsThe former number-two ranking official at the Pentagon, Ashton Carter, will likely be named as the next US defense secretary, American media reported Tuesday. President Barack Obama was poised to nominate Carter — a physicist turned national security policy wonk — to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel, “barring any last minute complications,” CNN reported. CNN cited several unnamed administration officials and The Washington Post also reported Obama would nominate Carter. The White House declined to confirm or deny the reports but said Carter was on a “short list” of candidates and highlighted his qualifications for the post.

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