The Corner

National Security & Defense

The Biggest and Grimmest

Ash Carter has worn many hats. He is a scientist (having earned his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford). He is an academic and professor (spending his career at Harvard). He is a defense official (serving in government, periodically, from Reagan onward). From 2015 to 2017, he was SecDef. He has equal amounts knowledge and experience.

And he is my guest on the latest Q&A. He talks some of the biggest and grimmest subjects: nuclear proliferation, North Korea, and Iran. I also ask him about the defense budget. I am wary of a phrase I have heard my whole life: “lean and mean.” What does he think of that? I also ask him about the relation between the military and the civilian population. Is there too great a gap? Do civilians sentimentalize soldiers? Is it okay to say “Thank you for your service”?

A wonderful guest. Again, to hear this podcast with Ash Carter, go here.

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