Ashton Carter confirmed as Barack Obama's Defence Secretary

Mr Carter will become the president's fourth defence minister

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The Independent US

The US Senate has voted overwhelmingly to confirm Ashton Carter as President Barack Obama’s next defence minister

It was widely anticipated that Mr Carter, 60, would be approved as the next Defence Secretary. As it was, he confirmed in a 93-5 vote on Thursday afternoon.

At his confirmation hearing on February 4, Mr Carter underscored his determination to boost the US defence budget, drive down the cost of new weapons and make sure new technologies are delivered to troops quicker, Reuters reported.

He also said he was leaning in favour of providing arms to Ukraine but later cautioned that the focus of the international community’s efforts to handle the crisis must remain on pressuring Russia economically and politically.

Mr Carter will be Mr Obama’s fourth defence secretary, succeeding Chuck Hagel, who resigned under pressure last year.