Former Defence Secretary Ash Carter

President Joe Biden’s statement on the passing of former defence secretary Ash Carter

Ash Carter comes to mind as a person of exceptional honesty. Honest. Principled. driven by a strong, constant moral compass and a desire to live his life for the greater good.

Ash Carter was a patriot from birth. He was a physicist with decades of experience in national security, and he served with distinction at every level of civilian leadership at the Department of Defense, including as the 25th Secretary of Defense of our country.

In order to preserve our military’s readiness, technological edge, and commitment to the women and men of the finest fighting force in history, President Obama and I depended on Ash’s strong intellect and sage advice at the time.

From nuclear deterrence to proliferation prevention to missile defence to emerging technological issues to the battle against Al Qaida and ISIS, Ash was a leader on all the important national security issues of our time. He allowed women to serve in all branches of the military and defended the rights of transgender service members.

His lengthy tenure at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he inspired and guided the following generation of national security officials, magnified his contributions to society. His participation on my Council of Advisors on Science and Technology allowed me to continue to rely on his knowledge as president.

Above all, Ash was aware of our solemn duty to our military personnel, veterans, and their families. In order to safeguard our troops from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, he relentlessly pursued technological solutions for our warfighters and swiftly accelerated the supply of mine-resistant vehicles to our troops. Many lives and limbs were spared thanks to his work. Ash and his devoted wife Stephanie would silently visit the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed on numerous weekends. Out of the public eye, he did so while exemplifying the moral character and feeling of obligation that defined him throughout his life.

Jill and I share the sorrow of the whole Carter family, including Stephanie, Will, and Ava, as well as the millions of friends and coworkers who are mourning the untimely passing of a great American.

Ash Carter was an outstanding American with unwavering integrity.

God bless him, please.

May God keep the soldiers that Ash Carter served and cherished safe.

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