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Ashton Carter

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, northern Syria. The U.S. is considering arming Arab and Kurdish fighters who are poised to attack the Islamic State stronghold. Uncredited/AP hide caption

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Uncredited/AP

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (center left) is greeted with a military honor guard as he arrives to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. Jonathan Ernst/AP hide caption

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Jonathan Ernst/AP

Vice President Biden swears in Ashton Carter, as the new Secretary of Defense's wife, Stephanie, holds the Bible for a ceremony in the White House Tuesday. Shawn Thew/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Shawn Thew/EPA/Landov

Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee to be the next secretary of defense, talks with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, during a break in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. The panel approved Carter's nomination Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP