69 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Ash Carter on U.S. Grand Strategy in Asia

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

For more than two decades, I worked to strengthen military and diplomatic ties with China, alongside scores of other U.S. and allied officials, all of us sincere in our belief that China could be encouraged to join the principled, inclusive network that has served as the backbone of regional security since the end of World War II - and thus the Asian miracle. It is easy for me to imagine having used my time as Secretary of Defense to solidify those ties and bring China into closer partnership with the United States and the other participants in the network. 

KFOR Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers fire the M9 pistol from the firing line during the weapons qualification event for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Dec. 12, 2017. (U.S. Army Photo / Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina)

U.S. Army / SSG Nicholas Farina

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

No Exceptions: The Decision to Open All Military Positions to Women

| December 2018

As Secretary of Defense, my overwhelming priority was ensuring that we had the strongest possible military force today – and tomorrow. Building this force meant finding the most qualified person to fill any position. Yet at the time I became SecDef in February 2015, nearly 10 percent of all military positions—220,000 in total—were barred to women. My decision exactly three years ago to open all roles to women without exception was not a social experiment. It was a professional responsibility to draw from our nation’s entire pool of talent, and to recruit and retain high-performing women in our armed services. Though consequential, the decision has enjoyed broad and lasting support. Service members and policymakers alike share the view that the policy change reflected military needs, not political desires.
 
I’m proud of the decision we made – and even prouder of the remarkable women who’ve since earned their way into our most demanding assignments. In this report, which you can download at the link below and read in full below my signature, I detail the steps we took to make sure this decision reflected the military’s mission-critical thinking.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin (right) shake hands on a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey as they depart the USS Stennis after touring the aircraft carrier as it sails the South China Sea April 15, 2016.

SMSgt Adrian Cadiz / DoD

Report

Reflections on American Grand Strategy in Asia

| October 2018

To understand how I approached China during my time as Secretary, it’s important to note that I don’t see U.S. strategy in Asia as centered on China at all. I said many times: We don’t have a China policy, we have an Asia policy. The heart of that policy is a mesh of political, diplomatic, economic, and military relationships with many nations that has sustained security and underwritten an extraordinary leap in economic development.

During my time as Secretary, I referred to this structure over and over as the “principled, inclusive network.” Enunciating and reinforcing its strategic and military dimensions in a rapidly changing security environment was my constant priority as Secretary of Defense. Even amid pressing challenges such as the fight against ISIS and the need to confront Russian aggression, no other issue I dealt with had such lasting implications for our national security and prosperity.

My three-word title for this policy was admittedly not very catchy. But my counterparts in the region understood it. They understood that all three words have been essential to its success and will remain essential to its future.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Women in Combat

| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

On December 3, 2015, then Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made an announcement that would transform the U.S. military: all combat jobs in every branch of the military would be open to women. At a Harvard Kennedy School event this fall, Carter talked about his historic decision.

Graduating cadets line up during a graduation and commissioning ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday, May 21, 2016, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Business Review

What I Learned from Transforming the U.S. Military’s Approach to Talent

| May 23, 2017

"When I took the oath of office, in February 2015, with two years left in the Obama administration, I made a specific commitment to ensure that the U.S. military continues to be a place where America’s finest want to serve. It was clear to me then that the Defense Department would need to keep pace with the dramatic changes — many of them technological — reshaping the economy, the labor market, and human resource management."

Defense Secretary James Mattis, left, applauds former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, right, during the portrait unveiling ceremony for the former secretary at the Pentagon on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Analysis & Opinions - WIRED

DoD Head Ashton Carter Enlists Silicon Valley to Transform the Military

    Author:
  • Jessi Hempel
| Nov. 18, 2015

The DOD of course has a long history of jump-starting innovation. Historically, it has taken the megafunding and top-down control structures of the federal government to do the kind of investing required to create important technology for the military. Digital photography, GPS, the Internet itself—all were nourished by defense contracts before being opened up to the private sector, which then turned them into billion-dollar industries.

Now the flow has reversed. Defense has been caught in the throes of the same upheaval that has disrupted legacy industries, unseated politicians, and upended global dynamics.

Press Release

Harvard Kennedy School’s Ashton Carter Nominated as Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics

| February 26, 2009

President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has nominated Dr. Ashton B. Carter to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.