World Jan 14

U.S. sailors made navigational error in Iran, defense chief says

TAMPA, Florida — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday it appears a navigational error caused the crews of two Navy boats to stray into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf, where they were detained overnight by Iran and released.

World Feb 23

Defense secretary Carter gathers war council on Islamic State group

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter convened an extraordinary war council Monday on Iraq's doorstep, six days after taking office, to discuss the nitty-gritty of the administration's oft-criticized strategy for countering the Islamic State militant group and…

Politics Jan 31

Host of challenges ahead for new defense secretary

As defense secretary, Ashton Carter would face a daunting pile of problems at home and abroad. And then there are the unforeseen crises, the ones that explode onto a Pentagon chief's agenda without warning.

Politics Dec 02

Meet Ashton Carter, likely defense secretary nominee

Ashton Carter has emerged as President Obama's likely nominee for defense secretary to replace Chuck Hagel. In the past three years, the NewsHour interviewed the former deputy defense secretary several times, mostly about budget cuts imposed on defense spending.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta oversaw changes in policy on women in combat and gays in the military. He traveled to Europe, Asia and the battlefield of Afghanistan, among other places. See some highlights of his tenure here.

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