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New Pentagon chief inherits friction with White House

US Vice President Joseph Biden (R) waits as Ashton Carter prepares to speak after being nominated for Secretary of Defense in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on December 5, 2014 in Washington, DCPresident Barack Obama’s pick to be the next defense secretary, Ashton Carter, will inherit a tense relationship between the US military and the White House that is unlikely to ease even with a fresh face at the Pentagon. Carter, 60, a policy wonk with degrees in medieval history and theoretical physics, is a bona fide defense expert but also a blunt-spoken figure who could run into trouble with a White House said to be given to micro-management. With years of experience in senior Pentagon posts, “it’s hard to imagine someone better prepared for this job,” said Stephen Biddle, a professor at George Washington University who knew Carter at Harvard.

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