Washington, DC — Foreign Policy for America is deeply saddened by the loss of Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Throughout his distinguished career in the Pentagon, spanning five administrations, he helped shape not just the direction of U.S. defense policy, but a generation of thoughtful security policy leaders.
Secretary Carter’s tenure as Defense Chief was marked by a recognition that America’s service members are its greatest asset. He took action to open all military roles to women and ended the ban on transgender troops serving openly. His steadfast commitment to improving military procurement and acquisition put the needs and safety of our warfighters above entrenched interests. Many of the reforms he championed laid the groundwork for the processes and practices that have enabled the U.S. to move so quickly in providing much needed supplies and equipment to Ukraine during this time of crisis.
Since leaving public office in 2017, Secretary Carter had served as director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School. On his passing, family members remarked that “his most profound legacy would be the thousands of students he taught with the hope that they would make the world a better and safer place.”