FILE - This Nov. 2, 2009 file photo shows Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter standing in front of a MRAP all terrain vehicle (M-ATV) at the Pentagon. Senior administration officials

 

              FILE - This Nov. 2, 2009 file photo shows Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter standing in front of a MRAP all terrain vehicle (M-ATV) at the Pentagon. Senior administration officials
FILE - This Nov. 2, 2009 file photo shows Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter standing in front of a MRAP all terrain vehicle (M-ATV) at the Pentagon. Senior administration officials tell The Associated Press that President Barack Obama could name his next defense secretary in December, far sooner than expected and perhaps in a high-powered package announcement along with his choice for secretary of state. The top names under consideration for defense secretary are former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter, former top Pentagon official Michele Flournoy, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)