File - Ashton Carter listens in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, as President Barack Obama announces he would nominate Carter for defense secretary Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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President Barack Obama tapped policy wonk Ashton Carter to head the sprawling Defense Department Friday, heralding his new nominee as one of the U.S.' "foremost national security leaders".Obama announced Carter's nomination during a ceremony at the White House. While White House officials haven't fully ruled out other changes, Obama appears highly unlikely to replace national security adviser Susan Rice or White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who plays a significant role in foreign policy decision-making.The level of control the White House has exerted over the Pentagon in particular has rankled those who have held the agency's top job before Carter.The White House has denied that it has negatively interfered with the Pentagon, but officials have made clear that Obama had no plans to loosen his reins on the Defense Department.
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