The best source I've got on Obama appointments says John Young's likely successor is Ashton Carter, Harvard professor of international relations and former Clinton administration arms control guru.
Carter's name has been swirling in the ether as a candidate for one position or another but it never seemed to stick. This time it's sticking but there are strong crosscurrents.
Carter served fom 1993 to 1996 assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. He was a member of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board during the last administration so he has claim to being bipartisan.
John Douglass, former head of the Aerospace Industries Association, who was an early contender for the ATL job appears to have run into resistance because of his former role as the industry's chief lobbyist. That's a tad ironic given Bill Lynn's treatment, but that's the word from someone who knows Douglass well.
Carter's office is declining to comment. One well-placed Pentagon acquisition source said Carter's nomination is actually running into senatorial resistance.
The skinny from this source was: "No acquisition experience. No industry experience. Senate has great reservations at this point. Rumors are they are beginning to look elsewhere."
But the Obama camp source was pretty straightforward about Carter. Given how slippery rumors about Obama Pentagon appointments have been it's very difficult to tell what's real, but I'm betting Carter will be nominated. Odds are 3:2... Any takers?