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Episode 90
Featuring Sec. Ash Carter
Ash Carter shares stories from his time serving under Barack Obama, the unique challenges of dealing with Congress, and the exigencies of protecting the country in an honest and informed exploration about the nature of American power. Additional topics include autonomous weapons, mass surveillance, cyberwarfare, US-China relations, etc.

In this week’s episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with former United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Secretary Ash Carter served as head of the US Defense Department during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Before his time as Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter served in the number two and number three positions at the Pentagon.

As you can all imagine, it was a privilege for Demetri to have a cabinet secretary on the podcast, particularly someone with Secretary Carter’s breadth of experience and scope of responsibilities. His newly published memoir, “Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon” offers an insider’s look at what it was like to head the largest department in the government with its millions of staff members and near trillion-dollar budget.

Demetri begins this conversation by asking Secretary Ash Carter about his experience serving under Barack Obama, the unique challenges of dealing with Congress, and the exigencies of protecting the citizenry from threats, both at home and abroad. Secretary Carter also addresses some of the constitutional conflicts that arise from NSA surveillance and targeted assassinations of enemy combatants or terrorist suspects operating outside of traditional warzones and military theaters.

In this episode, Demetri attempts to identify and do away with many of the assumptions that are embedded in much of the language and in many of the conversations around US foreign policy. This is meant as an honest and informed exploration about the nature of American power and what it means in practice. How we might begin to think about international relations in a gig-economy where people are increasingly working contractually on projects with team members located in just about every corner of the globe?

Also, Dr. Carter has thought extensively about the future of warfare in the 21stcentury, including the role of autonomous weapons, artificial intelligence, and cyberwarfare, topics that he and Demetri discuss in this episode as well.

The overtime to this week’s episode includes an hour-long excerpt from Demetri’s yet-to-be-released recording with renowned political scientist and historian of American foreign policy Stephen Walt. You can gain access to that recording, as well as obtain a copy of the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces patreon page at Patreon.com/HiddenForces.

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Ash Carter (born September 24, 1954) is an American public policy professor who served as the 25th Secretary of Defense from February 2015 to January 2017. He is currently Director of the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School.

Ash Carter began his career as a physicist. After a brief experience as an analyst for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, he switched careers to public policy. He joined the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1984 and became chair of the International & Global Affairs faculty. Carter served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during President Clinton's first term, from 1993 to 1996, responsible for policy regarding the former Soviet states, strategic affairs, and nuclear weapons. During President Obama's first term, he served first as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and then Deputy Secretary of Defense until December 2013. In February 2015, he replaced Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense and served until the end of the Obama administration.

For his service to national security, Carter has on five occasions been awarded the DOD Distinguished Public Service Medal. He has also received the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to intelligence. Carter is author or co-author of 11 books and more than 100 articles on physics, technology, national security, and management.

His newly published memoir, “Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon” offers an insider’s look at what it was like to head the largest department in the government with its millions of staff members and near trillion-dollar budget.

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Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

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