President Obama’s Dec. 5 nomination of Ashton Carter to be secretary of defense has attracted commentary from observers inside and outside the Washington beltway. Larry Blumberg, executive director of the San Diego Military Advisory Council, said the nomination might be a good sign.
Much more of Carter’s views will come out during confirmation hearings, Blumberg said. But he said the prospective secretary’s views on how to structure the defense budget seem positive.
“With more than 20 percent of San Diego’s regional economy dependent on defense spending, SDMAC is particularly pleased to see that he has taken a strong position that Congress must act to end sequestration,” Blumberg said in a statement distributed by e-mail.
Sequestration is a multiyear effort that calls for taking a percentage out of each military program to balance the federal budget. Defense contractors see it as harmful, and the approach has plenty of critics within government. Congress gave the Pentagon a break from sequestration in 2014 and 2015, but it’s expected to return in 2016.
Carter is expected to take the place of Chuck Hagel. Obama accepted Hagel’s resignation on Nov. 24.
The San Diego Military Advisory Council, or SDMAC, is a 10-year-old organization that provides a venue for senior military leaders and San Diego business leaders to gather and talk about topics of mutual interest.