Ash Carter, who served as U.S. defence secretary during the Barack Obama administration, died late on Monday at the age of 68 after a sudden heart attack.
Newsbreak.ng reports that Carter helped oversee the launch of a military strategy that would drive back the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), and defeat the terrorist group during the Obama administration.
Before becoming defence secretary in 2015, Carter served as deputy defence secretary and chief operating officer in the Pentagon. He also oversaw the Defense Department’s weapons purchases from 2009 to 2011 when he led a major restructuring of the F-35 fighter jet program.
Inside the Pentagon, he was seen more as a technocrat than a politician.
“Carter always set politics aside; he served presidents of both parties over five administrations, holding multiple positions within the Department of Defense,” his family said in the statement.
President Joe Biden said in a statement that Carter was a “man of extraordinary integrity.”
“Above all, Ash understood the sacred obligation we have to our servicemembers, veterans, and their families,” Biden said.
Former President Obama said he used to rely on Carter’s counsel for making the military “stronger, smarter, more humane, and more effective.”
“Ash’s greatest legacy, however, may be the generations of younger leaders he taught, mentored, and inspired to protect our nation and wield power wisely,” Obama said in a statement.
Since leaving public service, Carter led the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
He is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and his children, Ava and Will.