February 4, 2015

Senate Has Opportunity in Ashton Carter Hearing

Those worried about the White House’s farce of a foreign policy may find some solace in Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Ashton Carter. In written testimony to Congress ahead of his nomination hearing today, Carter said he would question Obama’s party line in situations like the drawdown from Afghanistan and the relationship with Iran. While the administration courts the state sponsor of terrorism, Carter wrote to Congress, “Countering Iranian destabilizing activities must be an important priority. Regardless of the outcome of nuclear negotiations, I firmly believe that the United States must also counter these destabilizing regional activities, including Iran’s support to terrorists and militant groups.” Instead of simply using today’s hearing to vent frustration over Obama’s failed foreign policy, senators should use this time to establish a working relationship with Carter. As national security expert Brian Slattery writes at The Daily Signal, senators need to know Carter’s priorities and if he’s willing to work with the current, sequestered budget.

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