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Carter Gets Senate Nod: The Senate last week unanimously confirmed Ash Carter as the next deputy defense secretary. Carter, who has been the Pentagon's acquisition executive since April 2009, will replace Bill Lynn, who is stepping down after serving in the Defense Department's No. 2 post since February 2009. "Ash has a steady hand, a keen intellect, and an effective management style that will help this department keep faith with our troops and protect our nation," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in the DOD release announcing Carter's confirmation. Panetta added, "He is already an essential part of my team as an outstanding undersecretary of defense, and I look forward to his continued guidance and leadership as he assumes his new responsibilities." President Obama nominated Carter for the post in early August.