- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The White House disagreed Wednesday with Ashton Carter, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, on providing lethal arms to Ukraine’s beleaguered military.

Shortly after Mr. Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he favors providing defensive arms to Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russian rebels, the White House issued a reminder that Mr. Obama is the boss.

“A decision like this will be made by the commander in chief,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, adding that Mr. Carter is “a strong believer in the chain of command.”

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Mr. Obama has been resisting calls from Congress to send lethal weapons to Ukraine, although the U.S. has provided a variety of other aid to Kiev.

At his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Mr. Carter said he favors sending arms to Kiev in the fight against Russian separatists.

“I very much incline in that direction,” he said, adding “we need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves.”

Mr. Carter didn’t specify the weapons to be considered but said, “I incline in the direction of providing them with arms, including to get to what I’m sure your question is, lethal arms.”

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