posted at 18:50
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Obama to nominate Pentagon chief Friday
While stopping short of confirming the pick, the White House has hailed Carter's "Detailed understanding" of the Pentagon's inner workings, and recalled that the Senate had unanimously confirmed his nomination as the Defense Department's number two in 2011. Hagel, the outgoing Pentagon chief, announced his resignation last month. Officials privately said he was forced out after losing the confidence of the White House, as the United States wages an air war against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria. At a news conference Thursday, Hagel rejected accounts that he was bundled out of his position and said it was a mutual agreement with the president. Carter, 60, has gained a reputation as an expert on hi-tech weapons and military budgets, portraying himself as a reformer intent on making the vast Pentagon bureaucracy more efficient. He has less experience overseeing war strategy and has never served in uniform - unlike Hagel, who was wounded in the Vietnam War. When Carter stepped down last year, officials denied reports he had clashed with Hagel. Former number three Pentagon official Michele Flournoy took herself out of the running for a post that would have made her the first woman to lead America's military.

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