U.S. defense secretary nominee undergoes back surgery

Former Pentagon official Ash Carter listens as he is nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be Obama's next defense secretary, at the White House in WashingtonBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace Chuck Hagel as U.S. defense secretary, has undergone a long-planned surgical procedure on his back ahead of his confirmation process in the Senate, the White House said on Friday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement that the procedure was successful but did not give details about the operation. “Mr. Carter decided to go ahead with the previously scheduled procedure so that he could complete it before beginning his confirmation process,” Earnest added. “Mr. …

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