Ashton Carter: Former Defense Secretary Under President Obama Dies At 68

Home Ashton Carter: Former Defense Secretary Under President Obama Dies At 68
Written by Doug Hampton

Ashton Carter, former Defence Secretary died on Monday evening in Boston due to a sudden cardiac arrest. The former defenceman was 68 years old. 

“It is with deep and profound sadness that the family of former Secretary of Defence Ashton B. Carter shares that Secretary Carter passed away Monday evening in Boston after a sudden cardiac event at the age of 68,” Carter’s family said in a statement Tuesday.

From early 2015 to the end of the Obama administration in January 2017, Carter served as the country’s 25th defense secretary. Carter led the military’s effort to battle ISIS while in charge of the Pentagon. He also allowed women to serve in all combat roles and lifted the prohibition on transgender people joining the military – a rule that was in force for approximately a year before being reinstalled by President Donald Trump.  

What Others Say About Him?

Most recently, Carter functioned as the public policy professor, who headed the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Ashton Carter Former Defense Secretary Under President Obama Dies At 68

Carter “devoted his professional life to the national security of the United States and teaching students about international affairs,” the defenceman’s family said in the statement. “He was a beloved husband, father, mentor, and friend. His sudden loss will be felt by all who knew him.”

In a statement on Tuesday, President Joe Biden honored Carter as “a great American of the utmost integrity” and “a leader on all the major national security issues of our times.” Carter and Biden collaborated as vice presidents during the Obama reign. Biden also stated that he and Obama had relied on Carter’s “fierce intellect and shrewd counsel” to guarantee the readiness of the US military and that Carter had done the same as president by serving on the White House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

“When I think of Ash Carter, I think of a man of extraordinary integrity. Honest. Principled. Guided by a strong, steady moral compass and a vision of using his life for a public purpose,” the President said.

In contrast to other Obama administration officials, the former defense secretary took a more aggressive stance and openly expressed his more hard-line views on war throughout the campaign against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria. At the beginning of his administration, he launched a reorganization of the American counter-Islamic State campaign, which ultimately succeeded in assisting Iraqi troops to capture and hold Islamic State strongholds. He ultimately called for the “permanent destruction” of ISIS.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Obama referred to Carter as “a steadfast defender of our men and women in uniform” and expressed his “proudness” at having chosen him to serve as Defense secretary in 2014. The former president lauded Carter for his investments in strengthening the military and for assisting in the development of a program to eliminate WMDs globally. However, he claimed that Carter’s “greatest legacy” may actually be “the generations of younger leaders he taught, mentored, and inspired to protect our nation and wield power wisely.”

“Today we mourn the passing of former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and celebrate a leader who left America — and the world — safer through his lifetime of service,” the former President said in his statement.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also passed his condolences by remarking that, the entire Defense Department “mourns the loss of a towering intellect” and “steadfast leader” and that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Carter’s passing. 

“Secretary Carter was both a defense intellectual and a skillful policymaker who tirelessly sought a more secure America in a more just world,” Austin said in a statement.

Bill LaPlante, the Pentagon acquisition chief, also issued a personal statement, addressing the late bulwark as an inspiration that led many “to go into public service” and “a giant in national security”, concerning his dedicated mentorship.

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